Bruce Bishop has turned his love of travel into a career.
YARMOUTH, N.S. – Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.
Bruce Bishop has been just about everywhere, from Austria to Australia, Cape Town to Cape Breton.
Now Bishop is parlaying his love of travel and many years of experience as a travel writer and promoter into a new career as a travel consultant. He officially opened BishopTrips.com at the Rodd Grand Hotel in June and has been working steadily to bring visitors to Nova Scotia and also to send Nova Scotians away to vacation destinations.
His interest in travel began when he was 16, working as a bellhop at the Grand and meeting people from around the world. The travel bug bit on during a class trip to Spain and Morocco.
Over the years Bishop documented his travels in long letters home to family. In 1994, his sister commented that one letter read like a travel story, and suggested that Bishop try to sell it. Seeing saw his story and byline in the Chronicle Herald’s travel section was a life-changing moment. He realized could combine his two loves of travel and writing (he’d been writing and producing film scripts) and make money doing so.
Bishop quit his job at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, and was able to leverage a couple of published stories into a busy freelance career writing for newspapers, magazines and travel guides. By 2000, he was the head of the Travel Media Association of Canada.
In 2004, Bishop moved back to Yarmouth to care for his ailing father and gradually shifted from writing to tourism promotion. Eventually he became director of the Yarmouth County Museum and later headed up preparations for Yarmouth’s 250th birthday celebration in 2011.
Bishop followed that up with an appointment to the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency and that experience encouraged him to get into promoting the province, and eventually to become accredited as a tourist consultant.
Since opening BishopTrips.com in June, he’s been busy arranging Nova Scotia experiences for visitors from a number of U.S. states and foreign travel experiences for Yarmouth residents. Americans who experience very hot summers are particularly appreciative of Nova Scotia’s climate and “exotic” landscape and seascape, he says.
The Yarmouth area is a hidden gem for many, Bishop says. “People who’ve already visited Peggy’s Cove wonder why they bothered after they’ve been to Cape Forchu.”
As a member of the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce, Bishop stresses that the Chamber is a great way to introduce Yarmouth to visitors and new business alike. “It can be a wonderful visual representation of all the town and area have to offer,” he says.
Bishop works with tour operators from all around the area to provide visitors with the full experience. He is also promoting a BodyHoliday vacation in St. Lucia with Kerry Lawson in April and a group holiday to South Africa in May. Bishop Travel regularly offers seminars on various travel options. Details are available on his Facebook page and at BishopTrips.com.
Linda Sutton writes profile stories on members of the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce for the Tri-County Vanguard.