After the highland clearances in Scotland during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, 189 Scots managed to land on a virtually undiscovered land in the eastern part of Canada. Due to the Scottish influence, this land became known as Nova Scotia. Nowadays, it has more significance for Canadian tourism than for Canadian history as the area attracts 8 million Canadians and foreigners on an annual basis, creating revenue estimated to be in the area of $1.3 billion. The town Pictou is not only significant for supporting local communities, yet is also a major tourist attraction, operating on the slogan ‘the birthplace of the new Scotland’.
The main attractions of Pictou are its shipyard and its waterfront, both steeped in history and reminiscent of the landing of the Scots all those years ago. Whereas the shipyard is simply reminiscent of the start of the area’s industrial period, the waterfront is much more loaded with places and attractions which guarantee a large tourist participation every year.
The centrepiece of the waterfront is the construction of the replica tall ship Hector, evocative of Nova Scotia’s great maritime past. The reconstruction was recently completed, having started in the late 1990’s. Tourists tend to flock to see the ship being docked every summer just off the Hector Heritage bay. The local blacksmith store, artist’s studio, carpenter store and gift stores revel in big amounts of visitors flashing their dollars.
Others come to see the July Lobster Carnival, the 71-year –old celebration of the end of the fishing season. Further attractions include a marina, the recently constructed new fisheries museum and the Grohmann knives factory. Grohmann claims to be Canada’s only hand-made knife maker. As the number of attractions has been growing in recent years, the number of visitors to Nova Scotia has been following suit.