Following are the results of the Musquodoboit Harbour-Sherbrooke STEP Working Group’s SWOT analysis process:
- The existence of the vast network of coastal islands.
- Scenic, rugged headlands.
- Significant emphasis placed on the destination area by the Nova Scotia departments of environment and natural resources, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, etc.
- Proximity to Halifax and Robert Stanfield Halifax International Airport.
- Ready access via Highway 7 and other local roads.
- Fresh air.
- Sense of wilderness.
- Heritage attractions and venues.
- Provincial parks.
- Nature Trust initiative.
- Pure and pristine.
- Few if any fast food operations
- Road conditions.
- Lack of critical mass of tourism services.
- GPS gap.
- Lack of scenic pull-offs.
- Lack of public WiFi and cellular telephone services
- Lack of experiences.
- Lack of awareness and recognition.
- Lack of facilities and services
- Several good parallel initiatives are in order (e.g. 100 Wild Islands initiative, Nova Scotia Nature Trust, etc.).
- Capitalize on the Eastern Shore Islands Wilderness and associated coastal provincial lands.
- Capitalize on the Eastern Shore Islands Wildlife Management Area.
- Unencumbered fresh start on defining the product and the brand.
- Strong chance to compete within Nova Scotia Tourism’s Outdoor Enthusiasts value segment.
- Strong chance to compete against tired Nova Scotia products and travel patterns.
- Outstanding freshwater and tidal coastal paddling.
- Recognize and fulfill premise that the Archipelago (apart from the north) is the last undeveloped, wild coastline in North America.
- ‘See’ the coastline through Champlain’s eyes.
- Rainforest context.
- The territory is secured due to parks, protected areas, abundance of crown land, etc.
- River systems leading to the coast are important factors in what Outdoor Enthusiasts are looking for.
- Chance to create new loops and in-out access points to the coast.
- Chance to emulate the ‘best-of’ the Fundy Trail Parkway.
- A general lack of capacity.
- A tendency for some stakeholders to be parochial rather than thinking big and building on what is truly unique.
- Nova Scotia is focused on other shinier coins.
- Highly competitive environment.
- Potential for the loss of quality opportunities for public recreation and nature-based tourism due to unplanned and/or incompatible development.