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Newsletter of the Tourism Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador

FALL 2014

Hospitality NL’s Board of Directors gear up for fall L-R Back Row: Dion Finlay, Vice-Chair; Connie Rose, Director-at-Large; Annette Parsons, Hotel/ Motel Association of NL Representative; Kelly Finlay, Secretary/Treasurer; Rex Avery, Chair; Front Row: Helena Lawlor, Director-at-Large; Michelle Heath, Director-at-Large; Kathie Hicks, Director-at-Large. Missing from photo: Scott Hillyer, Restaurant Association of NL Representative; Brian Rose, Bed & Breakfast Association of NL Representative.Â

FALL 2014




Despite fitful August weather, it seems that the summer season was once again a busy one for the tourism industry. For me, it officially started with the buzz of excitement around the bounty of icebergs so close to shore this year. Hoping to catch a glimpse of one, travellers throughout Newfoundland and Labrador took to iceberg viewing in droves and I am proud to say that I was one of them, multiple times over. I saw them from land and sea and even saw some from above in videos taken by one clever drone operator. My excitement around all the icebergs is on many levels. I love watching them, of course, and feel truly fortunate to be a person who can witness them in my everyday environment. I mean, how many people in the world can look out their kitchen windows and see that?! Most people just don’t have that privilege; they have to travel to see icebergs. Another level of excitement about icebergs is that the tourism industry understands their great value to travellers and to our economy. Icebergs draw travellers here to experience, sometimes, once in a lifetime bucket list vacations.  There are very few places in the world that have icebergs passing by each

year and fewer still that have them so close to shore. This is a rare place, unlike anywhere else, where travellers can explore icebergs in a raw, natural environment. The economic formula is simple: icebergs plus travellers equals spending in our communities. Increased spending in our economy means more tax revenue, more work and more investment. Tourism understands the value an iceberg represents as a natural resource in our environment. We do not have to touch it, drill it, cut it or manipulate it in any way to extract its value but it is in there nonetheless. For us in tourism, value is derived from natural resources by using them as objects of appreciation and understanding. Our harvest methods are to admire it, stand in awe of it, snap a few pics of it, absorb the wonder of it and respect it.   Our natural resources are places and things that travellers want to experience here in Newfoundland and Labrador because they cannot experience them anywhere else in quite the same way.  It is exponentially more important that tourism natural resources remain as they are, untouched. This is what attracts travellers.   If I took icebergs out of this message and replaced it with whales, the equation for tourism holds true, just as it would hold true for birds, rugged natural coastline, untouched natural areas and so on. These are all natural resources in Newfoundland and Labrador that hold true economic value, but which are ‘harvested’ in a way that is unlike any other of our plentiful resources.  If you take a 30,000 foot view of either one of our many natural tourism attractions, it allows you to think of them as renewable natural resources for Newfoundland and Labrador. Gros Morne National Park, for example, is one of our biggest tourism demand generators. Looking at it from a tourism perspective, it is a place that drives demand and spending for the entire province. The money and taxes generated goes to businesses, non-profits, communities, out to the entire region and province.  

So, tourism, as a renewable natural resource industry, is contributing to the economy and jobs while at the same time protecting the beauty, integrity and rareness of this extraordinary place in the world. Natural resources in the tourism industry, if they are sustained, will hold their value for generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and will add to our quality of life and to wealth in our communities. Maintaining and protecting our great tourism natural resources, such as Gros Morne, whales, birds, our coastlines and all major tourism assets, is an important part of developing resources for a diversified economy. This is the only way to hold the value of these natural resources so that they are truly renewable for a diversified economy and sustainable future.   Alas, is there any way of maintaining and protecting the mighty iceberg? They are, after all, impacted by climate forces that are taking place on a global scale. While a bigger global effort will be needed, we should all heed warnings that the possibility exists for climate impacts on ice and icebergs. When that happens, it will be even more critical that all of our other natural attractions and iconic tourism demand generators are protected for the value they hold.  We have it within our ability in this province to ensure natural resources for tourism are sustained, through sound tourism resource management policies and strategic investments. It is our responsibility to understand the long-term value that these natural resources hold and do what is right for the long-term benefit of our people and place, now and well into the future.

Carol-Ann Gilliard CEO, Hospitality NL @CAGilliard

© Copyright Barrett & MacKay Photo

Gros Morne National Park. (Photo Credit: Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism)

Throughout the summer season I had the opportunity to hear from members across the province who, during the course of our discussions, would often share their season results to date. At that point, the conversation would inevitably turn to comparisons of seasons past and how this year measured up to expectations and predictions. For some, the season start was not at all what was hoped for due in large part to an unanticipated reduction in Marine Atlantic ferry crossings and resulting cancellations; for others, the season began with a spectacular start thanks to a banner year for icebergs. Some members were experiencing “one of the strongest seasons to date”, while others were optimistic that the fall season would bring about a boost.  If I were to get all philosophical, I could draw a comparison between icebergs and the perception of the tourism industry: many see what is on the surface and appreciate it but do not realize what is underneath it.  I think the same could be said for the tourism industry...and quite frankly, it makes me cranky. While people see tourists flocking to beautiful natural attractions in an effort to cross an item off a bucket list, I’m not convinced that the positive benefits and economic impact of our industry are well understood nor what is required to continue to realize industry growth benefitting both residents and the economy.  Tourism occurs in so many different places and distributes benefits in so many diverse ways that it is difficult to recognize but it is present and it is growing. What is also hard to see are the tremendous efforts that have been made in recent years to align and manage all of our individual and collective goals for tourism among private, non-profit and public partners. Tourism is a yearround, global economic powerhouse, a  trilliondollar industry involving the movement of more than one billion tourists across borders and another five to six billion travellers domestically every year.  The collective efforts we have engaged in are aiming to ensure that Newfoundland and Labrador obtains its share of tourism spending and employment that is waiting to be seized. We have created momentum, but require great consistency and stability and strong commitment to properly and effectively plan for the long term. Tourism operators across Newfoundland and Labrador are committed to achieving our Vision and making significant financial investments

across the province, bringing employment and sought-after products and services with them. They have embraced initiatives like the Tourism Assurance Plan and Destination Development Processes in an effort to not only continue to meet the evolving needs of travellers but also to remain competitive and ensure continued industry growth. The fact that this seems to go unnoticed, once again, makes me cranky. Our industry is at a crossroads and as we approach the halfway mark towards Vision 2020 there is no better time to evaluate where we are and how we ensure that tourism’s value and potential is realized! In Newfoundland and Labrador, the tourism industry generates more than $1 billion in annual spending and accounts for 8 percent of total jobs.  Tourism operators are found in every corner of our province operating businesses and providing services that both locals and travellers enjoy and that other industries rely on for growth and development. The halfway mark of Vision 2020 coincides with the timing of two government elections where it is up to us to communicate the value of our industry and its potential to our future government leaders. There is much to celebrate about tourism’s advancements in recent years but there is also much to do to enhance our competitiveness as a tourism destination in order to increase visitation and spending. If our future government leaders truly understand tourism’s great value and potential, they will realize what it means to our communities, economy, employment and quality of life in Newfoundland and Labrador and they will acknowledge and respect the significant investments being made by tourism operators across our province in order to achieve our collective Vision. Future governments must commit to collaborate and work with us in a demonstrated effort complementing our investments all aimed to ensure continued and sustained industry progress. Government structure, policies and initiatives focused on tourism heavily influence the direction in which we head and it is essential that the direction be progressive, stable, collaborative and effective. Since being elected this past February to the position of Chair of Hospitality NL, there have been three ministers appointed to the tourism portfolio; it is impossible to build a solid foundation when leadership is inconsistent. Tourism is a unique industry that disperses far reaching direct and indirect benefits throughout our province and in order to sustainably develop the tourism industry, there are essential priorities that must be addressed. There is no doubt that the success of Newfoundland and Labrador’s tourism industry is irrefutably tied to a competitive level of provincial tourism marketing investment. Tourism represents one of the most stable revenue generating industries in our province and in order to continue to bring opportunities, employment and benefits to all regions, we need a commitment to long-term, competitive marketing investment. Our industry has never faced such fierce competition and a competitive marketing strategy is essential so that we do not fall behind our many competitors. Critically important to remaining competitive is the development of a comprehensive transportation strategy, one that encompasses all modes of transportation and aims to meet the evolving needs of users providing efficient, affordable, reliable, and modern service. Whether by air, road or ferry, travellers’ experiences must

be met with dependable services without worry of interruptions, getting lost or being stranded. Transportation services to, from, and around Newfoundland and Labrador are an integral component of tourism and enable the social and economic development of the entire province. Tourism resource management must also be brought to the forefront when discussing tourism priorities. The protection and sustainable management of critical tourism assets is vital to long-term growth. If the economic and social benefits of the tourism industry are truly understood by our future government leaders, we, and those elected, will be making strategic decisions that place an economic, environmental and social value on important natural and cultural tourism attractions. Such sound decisions will facilitate private investment and further grow our industry. Moving forward, it is imperative that we continue to attract entrepreneurs to our industry so that industry leaders who have paved the way and are now ready to become the much sought after ‘traveller’ can do so without leaving behind gaps in our product and service offerings. In order to create an environment that is attractive to such investment and innovation, the above issues must be addressed. The above issues, integral to future success, touch other key priorities including season extension, product development and revitalization, and regulatory enforcement which supports the legitimacy of tourism operators and helps shut down those establishments operating in contravention of required licensing and permitting. We are making progress at the halfway mark and while these represent priorities along the road to our tourism industry’s collective vision, the challenges are not insurmountable. Tourism operators and partners are working together to grow the tourism industry’s contribution to a diversified economy and we are enhancing the way of life for people throughout the province. I don’t profess to be a man who likes to use big words to impress people; I like to call a spade a spade and I prefer to speak in clear terms that everyone can easily understand. According to Merriam Webster, commitment means “an agreement or pledge to do something in the future”. Well, the future is barreling towards us with the halfway mark to Vision 2020 already here and 2015 just around the corner. So far, the tourism industry has been successful despite great instability. The next phase needs to start on a solid foundation spurred forward by action i.e. “things done”. We agreed at the start of our ten-year vision that we would make long-term strategic decisions and investments and stick with them for as long as they produce results. All partners must demonstrate their commitment to continuing on this trail we are blazing, and in doing so stay the course on established plans. Operators are doing their part; politicians pledging to successfully grow economies and deliver quality services must do their part with promises and agreements followed by demonstrated, deliberative and timely action. It’s all of our responsibility to ensure this is the case in 2015 and beyond.

Rex Avery Chair, Hospitality NL @HNLChair

FALL 2014




FALL 2014

Changes in the structure of tourism at the province


On September 30, 2014, Premier Paul Davis, announced his first Cabinet revealing significant changes to departmental structuring. Of particular note to Hospitality NL and tourism stakeholders was the merging of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation with the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development to form the new Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development. This change came as a surprise to the tourism industry as there had been no indication or consultation that such a structural change was being considered. The details of the merger are still being worked out but Hospitality NL is representing its members, tourism services and attractions throughout the province, by gathering more information about what this will mean to essential tourism investments and initiatives and ensuring that the tourism industry is represented prominently in the new structure for tourism. As an industry that generates a billion dollars annually, represents eight percent of total jobs and contributes greatly to the economy of rural parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, Hospitality NL is focused on ensuring that tourism remains a strategic industry for government and that we are all still committed to our ten-year collective vision. Many operators have expressed their disappointment with the lack of consultation with this restructuring. They are quite anxious for Hospitality NL, on their behalf, to ensure the great gains we have made will not be lost during this time of transition and integration. As there is also a great deal of private sector investment based on the collective commitments of the vision, many operators are interested in stability and consistency in tourism policy and investment in the province.

When life’s a beach.

There are many synergies that can happen with the alignment of the tourism and economic development departments. Tourism is an important element of provincial economic development plans and many of the former IBRD’s initiatives are interlinked with tourism priorities. It will be essential as the two departments merge that critical tourism investments, services and supports are sustained and that the tourism industry continues to receive the priority attention that it requires to achieve our collective vision for tourism.  Hospitality NL is certain that Minister Darin King will bring solid leadership and vast cabinet experience to the new department. At this early stage in the departmental transformation, Hospitality NL is concerned about negative impacts this redevelopment could have on tourism goals and initiatives and has relayed our concerns to government. It has never been more important that tourism services and attractions align themselves with the provincial Hospitality NL network. The association will be actively working on behalf of members to secure strategic investment commitments that enable the industry’s private sector investments and help build a competitive environment for tourism businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador. All tourism operators are encouraged to contact Hospitality NL to learn how they can join the provincial tourism network to support and advocate the association in its efforts to ensure the best possible structure for tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador. For more information, please contact Hospitality NL’s Membership Team – Craig Foley, Tania Heath or Jessica Greenwood. 


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Canada Select NL’s continued transformation Tourism Board and Uncommon Potential: A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. With the collective vision among private and public tourism stakeholders placing significant priority on elevating, sustaining and communicating the level of quality of tourism services and attractions available in the province, there is a need for quality assurance activities that validate quality among other services and attractions beyond accommodations and campgrounds. TQA’s evolution towards a broader offering of quality assurance programming will provide meaningful assurances to travellers about the level of quality and amenities in tourism services and attractions and assist tourism operators and partners achieve individual and collective goals outlined in Vision 2020. Over the next two years, while maintaining its management of Canada/Camping Select, TQA’s Board aims to integrate additional quality assurance activities into its operational plans. By evolving into a tourism quality assurance organization, TQA is playing an important role in helping the tourism industry achieve its goals for quality assurance and, ultimately, for Vision 2020.

Learn & Lead

Fall Webinar Series Keep an eye out for Hospitality NL’s upcoming webinar series! Registration is now open and Hospitality NL members attend for free! For more information, contact Melissa Ennis. Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Job Grant Wednesday, October 22, 2014 – 11 am Presenter: Jennifer Meadus, Department of Advanced Education and Skills Managing Food Costs for Small Business Wednesday, November 5, 2014 – 11 am Presenter: Scott Hillyer, Coffee Matters Canada’s Anti-Spam laws: is your business compliant? Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – 11 am Presenter: Mandy Woodland, Mandy Woodland Law Social Media Expert Panel Wednesday, December 3, 2014 – 11 am Panel: Scott Oldford, Infinitus Marketing + Technology and Joseph Teo, StudentFresh

FALL 2014

In 2014, Canada Select NL began implementing its new scoring procedures and it has been met with great welcome from accommodators. The new scoring procedure relieves the rigidity of the amenities portion of the ratings and allows for a greater focus on the quality offered in establishments. All ratings under the new scoring procedure will be completed by 2015. In addition to adapting its rating system in 2014, the Board of Directors of Canada Select Newfoundland and Labrador is also evolving the organization as a part of its three-year strategic plan. Early in 2014, the name and bylaws of the organization were changed to Tourism Quality Assurance of Newfoundland and Labrador (TQA). In doing so, the Board has enabled the organization to adopt a broader mandate and assume a more diverse role in quality assurance for the tourism industry in the province. Traditionally responsible for the implementation of the Canada Select/Camping Select rating program, the organization, under its new structure, will work with the industry to adopt and implement other quality assurance programs to reflect the goals and priorities of the provincial tourism industry as defined by the Newfoundland and Labrador


Investing in Training


Research has now shown that businesses who invest in training are estimated to earn an average return of 23% on their investment in the first year after providing training. This fact was among the findings of the recently completed UPSKILL: Essentials to Excel project. The study, undertaken by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), in partnership with Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador and other organizations, along with 12 local businesses from the accommodations industry, found that a well-designed program of Essential Skills training can deliver attractive returns on investment for employers when bearing the full costs of training and release time for workers. The UPSKILL study randomly assigned businesses to a program group or a control group with those in the program group receiving the UPSKILL training while those in the control group did not; thus, programto-control-group comparisons provide direct measures of the impact of UPSKILL training. The businesses who received workplace based training as part of the project experienced significant improvements in job performance that in turn, led to positive effects for businesses. A higher level of service quality and improved relations with customers led to increased customer loyalty, repeat sales, and higher revenues. Employee task efficiency and accuracy also increased. Ultimately, improved performance was accompanied by greater job retention, leading to higher earnings for employees and lower turnover costs for employers. This study clearly demonstrates the strong benefits of investing in training for both employees and employers showing the investment can translate into an improved “bottom line”. The report also shows that the return on investment would be significantly higher under cost-sharing arrangements such as the CanadaNewfoundland and Labrador Job Grant. This recently announced program provides financial assistance to private and non-profit employers to offset the costs of providing training to new or current employees. Learn more about the Canada-NL Job Grant on page 7. For more information on the UPSKILL project and its results, please contact Hospitality NL’s Manager of Workforce and Industry Development, Juanita Ford.

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FALL 2014

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Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador Job Grant The Department of Advanced Education and Skills is offering the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Job Grant, a new employee training program for private and non-profit employers in Newfoundland and Labrador

How much will government contribute? • Up to $10,000 per employee Are there restrictions placed on the type of training? • The maximum length of the training is 12 months • It cannot be used for mandatory training (such as required by legislation) • The training must allow the trainee(s) to either keep their job or provide an opportunity for advancement with the employer

Who has to provide the training? • Training can be delivered in any setting (classroom, workplace or online) as long as it is delivered by a third-party training provider approved by the province

How do I get more information? • Visit or call 1-800-563-6600 to speak to a staff person

What costs are covered? • Tuition fees or fees charged by training provider • Mandatory student fees • Textbooks, software, supplies and other required materials • Examination fees

Did You Know? • The Department of Advanced Education and Skills now has an automated self-serve system to apply for many funding programs. To register for the Labour Market Programs Support System (LaMPSS), go to and print a registration form

Do I have to chip in? • Yes. Under most circumstances employers will have to contribute 1/3 of the total value of the training per individual • Depending on the size of your business, there are flexibilities e.g. a portion of your contribution may be an ‘in-kind’ contribution

Funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada Job Grant

FALL 2014

What is the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Job Grant? • It is an innovative way of delivering training that will lead to actual jobs and more skilled workers • It will help employers equip new or current workers with the skills they need in their workplaces • It will help Newfoundlanders and Labradorians get training for new or better jobs


MEMBER Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador believes the strength of the tourism industry lies in the creativity and passion of tourism operators who continually strive to reach new heights of success. Hospitality NL’s strong member network is as diverse as our industry’s offerings and we are proud to profile some new and long-standing members below:  hat prompted you to establish a tourism business? W With the announcement of Gros Morne becoming a national park, I knew we needed accommodations and attractions for the visitors that would be coming to the area. I began by establishing a hotel (presently Ocean View Hotel) and then started the boat tour operation. You and your businesses have been a member of Hospitality NL for over 25 years! Why is it important to be a part of the provincial tourism industry network? I think it is very important to be a part of the tourism industry network because as operators in the tourism sector, we need to be updated & informed on what is taking place in the marketplace. HNL is a great guide to the new trends that are taking place.

FALL 2014

BonTours Location: Norris Point, NL Years in Business: 39 Number of Employees: 32 Owned/Operated By: Reginald Williams

With both federal and provincial elections just around the corner, what do you think is the biggest issue facing the tourism industry that elected officials must address? I think that the biggest issue that elected officials must address would be the accessibility. Marine Atlantic & the airline industry need to not only continue what they are doing but need to enhance the services and also add extra direct flights from the larger centers to accommodate the growing visitor numbers.

 hat prompted you to establish a tourism business? W I wanted to make a livelihood in the outport where I was born – tourism offered an opportunity to merge my passion into a successful livelihood at home.


King’s Point Pottery Location: King’s Point, NL Years in Business: 22 Number of Employees: 2 Owned/Operated By: Linda Yates

You’ve been a member of Hospitality NL for 18 years. Why is it important to be a part of the provincial tourism industry network? Hospitality NL and the networking opportunities it provides have helped us grow our business. For example, the annual conference is an ideal chance to meet other operators, learn about trends and issues impacting industry, and gain valuable tools and insight from speakers and panels that help industry become more competitive as a whole. In addition, as members of Hospitality NL, we can take advantage of discounts on the products, services and training we need on a daily basis to run our business. With both federal and provincial elections just around the corner, what do you think is the biggest issue facing the tourism industry that elected officials must address? Governments need to commit to sustainable and competitive investment in tourism to help build a stronger industry. Investing in tourism produces economic growth in all regions, and this growth will enable governments to address other important issues that affect residents, such as health care. What is the best part of operating a tourism business in Newfoundland & Labrador? Operating a tourism business in Newfoundland and Labrador allows us to showcase the unique and spectacular geology of the Province which is home to the ancient Appalachian Mountain range. We get to share this knowledge and impart awe in our visitors.

Johnson GEO Centre Location: St. John’s, NL Years in Business: 12 Number of Employees: 30 Owned/Operated By: Paul Johnson, Johnson Family Foundation & GEO Management Team

You’ve been a member of Hospitality NL for 12 years. Why is it important to be a part of the provincial tourism industry network? The GEO CENTRE values its involvement with the Provincial tourism industry network. As a not-forprofit, it is important to stay connected with others in the industry to keep on top of current trends, share best practices, participate in broad initiatives and to learn about upcoming opportunities. Like any industry, tourism comes with its own unique challenges and it is comforting to know there are groups out there sharing in our successes and also understanding the inherent difficulties. With both federal and provincial elections just around the corner, what do you think is the biggest issue facing the tourism industry that elected officials must address? We would consider the cost of travel to Newfoundland and Labrador to be one of the biggest issues facing the tourism industry. Airfare to Labrador and ferry rates are very high making Newfoundland and Labrador an expensive destination to visit. While the provincial economy and labour market remains strong this does however mean that recruiting and retaining staff also remains a challenge for tourism operators.

PROFILES What prompted you to establish a tourism business? At Eastbound we have major appreciation for three main things: motor sports, entertainment, and this beautiful province. Eastbound was created because of our desire to bring something we love to the place we love. The joy and excitement that comes from partaking in motor sport events is something we not only want to share with the people of this province, but is an experience we want people from all over to come to Eastern Newfoundland to share in. We have a first-class facility in Avondale, and want to give people that first-class experience you just can’t get anywhere else.

Location: Avondale, NL Years in Business: 1 Number of Employees: 30-90, depending on the event Owned/Operated By: AME Enterprises Inc.

As a new member of Hospitality NL, why was it important to join the provincial tourism industry network? This is important because of the geographical nature of this province: Newfoundland is an island, and we are looking to bring new money here. Tourism is a great way to do this. By joining the provincial tourism network we can reach farther and access a wider variety of markets and visitors. This helps not only grow our business, but the economy of the province, as well.  ith both federal and provincial elections just around the corner, what do you think is the W biggest issue facing the tourism industry that elected officials must address? I think most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would agree that transportation to and from the province is a major issue. This applies across the board, from costly flights, to the reduction of ferry services. We need to be making it easier for people to come to Newfoundland, not more difficult. If you want to get people to the province, you need to provide them with affordable, efficient modes of transportation, because we have so many wonderful things to see and offer!

What prompted you to enter the tourism industry? My husband was a Marine Logistics Supervisor on the Bull Arm Hibernia site in 1994. I was working as Campus Director at CNA, St. Anthony Campus and finding our time apart long and challenging. During a stay in Clarenville, I saw an ad in the local paper for the GM position at St. Jude Hotel. With my previous managerial experience, having travelled extensively and worked with diverse cultural groups, I felt this would be a good fit for me and for family life. It is 20 years later and much has changed since then, but I still enjoy the wonderful experiences this industry offers.

St. Jude Hotel Location: Clarenville, NL Years in Business: 24 Number of Employees: 43 Owned/Operated By: ND Dobbin Group of Companies General Manager: Sheila Kelly-Blackmore


 ou’ve been a member of Hospitality NL for 23 years. Why is it important to be a part of the Y provincial tourism industry network? For 23 years, St. Jude Hotel has utilized Hospitality NL and its industry training programs to shape the pillars of excellence in service standards that helped guide positive growth at our property over the years. Hospitality NL continues to keep me connected with industry professionals and provides numerous opportunities for networking, mentoring, and for keeping abreast of current and changing industry trends. I served on the Board for many years and as President of Hospitality NL. There is no end to the industry knowledge and experience that one learns through serving and mostly through the connections with our industry peers. I highly recommend getting engaged with Hospitality NL to anyone in the industry.   ith both federal and provincial elections just around the corner, what do you think is the W biggest issue facing the tourism industry that elected officials must address? The Board of Hospitality NL advocates for change to help shape provincial government direction and policy. Over the years, Hospitality NL has been successful on many fronts. We always seek continued growth in the provincial marketing budget, market research and product development. I believe it’s time for industry and government to collaborate on a strategy to address the numerous current and future labour skill shortages facing our industry.

Hospitality NL’s 2015 Conference and Trade Show! Hospitality NL’s Annual Conference and Trade Show is the largest gathering of tourism operators in the province providing attendees with the opportunity to network with industry leaders and gather valuable information affecting the development of tourism in the province. Work is already underway on the Conference program and early-bird registration will be opening soon. For more information, get in touch with us by email at, by phone at 1-800-5630700 or visit See you in Gander!

FALL 2014

Eastbound International Speedway & Concert Park


Come to the table


Barry Rogers

FALL 2014

Submitted by: Barry Rogers, Chair, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board

Here we are, another busy summer season under our belts. With record setting July temperatures and wetter than we would have liked August rainfalls behind us, it’s time for us to look ahead. The turning of the leaves means different things to different people. For many of us, it’s time to get working ON the business instead of IN the business. They say good help is hard to find, but, even when you have good help, so many little things still require direct attention just to keep the devil off the doorstep! So, when we find a few moments of reprieve, this is your opportunity to work ON the business and begin the onerous process of weeding through your own priorities. So, what makes the cut in the long list of potential priorities that are so important to getting you and your business to the next level? What comes first? Well, as the destination development reports are completed, that would be a good place to start. One of the recommendations in the Eastern Destination Development report talks about “Coming to the table.” This references how important it is that industry, government and all stakeholders work together to develop the destination. The destination development reports contain a great number of findings and recommendations. Some are currently being worked on and some will require a great deal more thought and coordination before we place a check mark next to them as complete. But, each and every finding and recommendation requires industry engagement, industry contribution, and for industry to come to the table. What does coming to the table look like? Well, for many of you, you know what it looks like because you have been doing it for years. To those of you in which this is the case, I applaud you because it takes courage to come to the table and it takes patience. As owners and operators in the tourism industry, we ARE the tourism industry. We are the products and services, we are the hospitality, we are the people that visitors from far and wide come to see. If given the opportunity to start with a blank slate,

many of us may draft a tourism industry that looks very different than it does today. Or, would it? Sure, there are frustrations and many things we could stand to change, but look at our foundation, look at what we have to work with and look at who we have to work with. Amazing. Over the next few months, you will likely be contacted by several of our many partners in the industry, making you aware of training sessions, networking sessions, destination development sessions and much more. They are contacting you because they want you to come to the table. They are saying, “Come, sit, tell us how we can help you, let us help you get what you need.” Our partners like Hospitality NL and the DMOs have years of experience working directly with industry and trying to bridge the gap for us so we can get to the next level. Let’s meet them at the table. Our partners at the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency are also coming to the table and they would like nothing more than for you to join them. Let’s talk again about what it takes to come to the table – courage and patience. It takes courage to admit that you don’t know everything and that you need help, but, one thing is certain, no one knows your business better than you. So, take what you know and then absorb as much as you can about what everyone else knows. The results may surprise you! It also takes patience because things take time, often, so much more than we would like. The tourism industry is a broad spectrum of operations and businesses. Some needs are very different from others and our partners are challenged with the task of serving us all. Let’s give them a chance to do well for the whole spectrum, and for them to do this, we have to be part of their challenge and part of our solution. So, this year when you are working on your business, figure out how you can come to the table. Because what you walk away with will be well worth your time in having a seat. See you on the next tide.

Newfoundland Owned Distributor of Foodservice Equipment and Supplies, Janitorial Equipment and Supplies, Industrial Chemicals and Automotive Detailing Supplies!

99 Blackmarsh Road I St. John’s 579-2151 I ST. JOHN’S • HALIFAX • DARTMOUTH • MONCTON

Research Corner Submitted by: The Tourism Research Division of the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

There is no doubt that Tourism Newfoundland and Labrador’s advertising campaign “Find Yourself Here” has been the most successful for the province to date. It has garnered much attention in Canada as well as abroad, and even stimulated the odd copycat. As a result, not only professional advertisers but also – more importantly – travellers have taken notice of the province. Reasons why Newfoundland and Labrador appeals to visitors are as varied as travellers themselves. Although Newfoundland and Labrador has a very strong VFR1 segment and “getting to go home to see family” is the biggest draw for about one third of visitors, a large portion of visitors2 are looking for a completely new experience, a part of Canada and a culture they have never experienced before. For some, the province is the ultimate dream vacation destination3 while others find great appeal in “getting away from it all” and want to enjoy a slower pace of life – if only for a couple of weeks. The Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development’s 2013 Non-resident Travel Attitudes and Motivations study (TAMS) provided additional insights into the motivations and perceptions Canadian travellers have about this province that influence their travel decisions. Canadian travellers have a variety of top of mind associations with Newfoundland and Labrador as a vacation destination, with St. John’s, the ocean and Gros Morne National Park taking the top three spots. Beautiful scenery is also on travellers’ minds when they think of vacationing in the province. Fishing, friendly people and icebergs also come to mind for many Canadians.

Associations with Newfoundland and Labrador as a vacation destination Source: 2013 TAMS, Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

The same is true for the vacation experiences visitors are seeking – they are varied but closely tied to the province’s unique combination of what Mother Nature has to offer: seeing the ocean/coastlines, seeing icebergs and taking in the scenery are top draws, with whale watching being the “Number 1” activity travellers want to do when in Newfoundland and Labrador. Fishing as well as food/seafood are also sought-after experiences for visitors. When it comes to specific places Canadians want to experience in the province, Gros Morne, St. John’s 1 2 3

and L’Anse aux Meadows are clearly topping the list. Based on their personal experiences or other impressions, Canadians have great appreciation for the province’s vacation offerings. As with top of mind associations and desired vacation experiences in Newfoundland and Labrador, travellers strongly connect the province with the ocean, with 73% rating the province’s “Ocean adventures” offering (including whale watching and seeing icebergs) as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Furthermore, more than two thirds of Canadians feel that the province is a good place to visit to experience local culture and heritage as well as to connect with local people, to enjoy nature and wildlife, lighthouses and fishing. In fact, Canadians picked Newfoundland and Labrador as one of the top two places to go for ocean adventures (British Columbia is #1) and for experiencing local culture (Quebec is #1). Based on a range of questions in the TAMS, the study revealed that Canadians perceive and associate Newfoundland and Labrador strongest with ‘local people and culture’ as well as with ‘nature and wilderness’. Fishing, nature and hiking are also perceived as excellent vacation experiences in the province. With high ratings given to those experiences which are important to travellers when they decide on a vacation destination, the province is well positioned to attract Canadian travellers. These findings are also in line with the product strengths the survey identified: the province has a strong offering that allows travellers to connect with the destination (local culture, local festivals and events, historic sites and attractions, local artisan products) together with opportunities to experience the ocean, nature and wildlife – the availability of these experiences in combination makes Newfoundland and Labrador unique as a place to visit. The province is also perceived strongly with respect to niche experiences such as hiking and fishing, with an opportunity to further develop the attractiveness of its UNESCO sites, outdoor adventures and hunting for special interest segments among Canadian travellers. However, the survey results also indicate that the province is facing fierce competition from other Canadian destinations. While the province’s unique culture, people and heritage are highly sought after experiences, Canadian travellers also feel that Quebec has something exceptional to offer in that respect. As well, British Columbia and Northern Ontario are popular destinations for an outdoor adventure, nature/wildlife, wilderness/trail hiking or fishing experience whereas Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI are also well perceived to offer an “Atlantic Canadian” experience. The research shows that the advertising campaign has raised the province’s awareness level among travellers to unprecedented heights, generated a new line item on many a bucket list and delivered many a tourist who didn’t believe a place like ours existed. While many Canadians perceive the province positively to provide a unique vacation experience and the vast majority of visitors leave the province satisfied, it is essential for all tourism stakeholders to continue to deliver exceptional experiences so the most stubborn of perceptions about the province – that it is too costly and too time-consuming to visit here – will become less and less influential on travel decisions.

VFR = Visiting friends and relatives; 31% of peak season (May – Oct) visitors travel to the province for VFR (2011 Provincial Visitor Exit Survey) 60% of vacation visitors (May – October) are first time visitors to the province Newfoundland and Labrador ranks consistently high as a top Canadian dream vacation experience in the CTC’s annual Global Tourism Watch – Canada studies

FALL 2014

Perceptions of Newfoundland and Labrador as a vacation destination among Canadian travellers


From the Regions Submitted by: Andrew Hiscock Tourism Development Officer Legendary Coasts of Eastern Newfoundland

FALL 2014

Ranting Throughout the Fall

Legendary Coasts has a very exciting fall for its members this year. We’ll see many projects that we have worked on all year come to fruition, continuing our efforts to supply our members with opportunities! Roots, Rants, and Roars, scheduled every year for the third week in September in Elliston, has become a national draw for the Discovery Trail region during the shoulder season. Legendary Coasts was very proud to partner with the event as a sponsor, providing support for media covering the festival. This year saw 16 accredited media visit the various events. We are positive that the resultant stories and news coverage will continue the festival’s momentum as a Newfoundland and Labrador must-attend event! This fall, Eastlink TV’s Discover NL program will launch a new season, with Legendary Coasts as the title sponsor. Over the next year, 32 of our members will be featured in the show and episodes will be broadcast on Eastlink TV and Rogers TV, giving our membership much-needed and cost-effective outreach in the residential market. We are so very proud of the hard work by our staff and our partners at Eastlink in producing such amazing content about our region! We will also continue our efforts to reach out to our members with fantastic development opportunities. This year we will feature our Experience Development Seminar Series. Beginning October 7 and 8 with sessions about Food Tourism at Fisher’s Loft Inn in Port Rexton and

Patrick Monsigneur of The Claddagh Inn being interviewed by Eastlink TV’s Discover NL television program at St. Vincent’s Beach.

Doctor’s House Inn & Spa in Green’s Harbour, facilitated by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance’s Rebecca LeHeup. Our members should stay tuned as we will be making announcements about more sessions throughout the fall! We are also happy to announce that our AGM will be held October 21, 2014, in the Town of Bay Roberts. We are very happy to partner with the community, as they have strongly dedicated themselves to tourism as a means of economic development, and have offered an amazing array of new tourism product in recent years. See you in Bay Roberts!

12 Submitted by: Jeannette Yetman, Manager, Leisure Travel & Events Destination St. John’s

Sport Tourism and Destination St. John’s

The definition of Sport Tourism is travel undertaken for the purpose of engaging in a competitive sporting event as an active participant (athlete, official, volunteer, etc.) or as a spectator. In Canada, sport tourism is a $3.6 billion dollar industry (Statistics Canada, 2010). DSJ has recognized the importance of the industry since 2004 but in 2012, Destination St. John’s (DSJ) commissioned a study to determine the growth potential for the St. John’s region’s sport tourism market and how to target that market. The resulting sport tourism strategy identified the structure and investment required to grow the market. Key success factors identified were: • The need for a collaborative approach; • Focusing on those sports where we have the most strength; • Building our capacity to host various sport competitions (i.e. necessary venues/facilities; destination services – transportation, accommodations, meals and other services; strong host committees and a good volunteer base); and • Developing bid support mechanisms including commitment from government and business sponsors. As a result of this strategy, the Sport Tourism Event Partnership (STEP) was formed. This partnership brings together Destination St. John’s, the City of St. John’s, Sport NL, the (former) Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation (in an advisory role), and regional municipalities and groups to pursue new sport event business opportunities in the region. All tourism operators in the region benefit from this new business, much

We’ve been welcoming visitors for 500 years. Hosting; it’s what we do.

Jeannette Yetman Sales Manager, Sport 1.877.739.8899

of which helps to grow the shoulder season, attract a new consumer segment and create interest for other future events. DSJ has a broad base of services that it offers to groups in bidding on sporting events including, building bid proposals, projecting the economic value of events, soliciting RFPs from all hotels for accommodation and meals, leading site visits, coordinating bid support and partner collaboration. DSJ will continue its work in this area and, with this new collaborative and focused approach to business attraction, DSJ is encouraged that its goal to capture more of that $3.6 billion dollars in sports tourism revenue will be achieved.

Tourism is You

As the peak tourism season comes to a close and the fall shoulder season winds down, all tourism stakeholders will be reflecting on their operations while forging new plans for next year. At Destination Labrador (DL) we too have been reflecting. As a tourism destination management organization (DMO) our success is largely defined by the input and feedback of our industry partners. Undoubtedly, we all play a key role in our collective pursuit of that magic formula for sustained success. This year marks the end of our 3-year business plan (March 2014) and the beginning of another 3 year business plan (2014-17). More importantly, with our partners at the provincial Tourism Board and regional partner Nunatsiavut Tourism, we have just wrapped up the Tourism Destination Visitor Appeal Appraisal (TDVAA) project (June 2014). The goal was to create an understanding of what needs to be done to strengthen the ability to grow our tourism industry in Labrador.

Submitted by: Mark Lamswood Executive Director Go Western Newfoundland

Gord Downie performing at Writers in the Wild on Lomond River Trail, Gros Morne National Park.

Reporting from Western Newfoundland Allow me to take full advantage of this edition of the Tourism Times to shed some light on a few things happening in Western Newfoundland. One of the benefits of working at Go Western Newfoundland is simply getting outside the office, into the region and its many communities, festivals, attractions and events – and of course to meet the wonderful people that live, work, and visit. Without further adieu, here’s just a fieu! Mi’Kmaq Pow Wow Vows in Flat Bay – Friends of ours participated in a memorable marriage ceremony with Chief Misel Joe presiding. It was such a privilege to share in their big day. But what they didn’t know was earlier that morning, I left the Pirates Haven in Robinsons on my motorcycle to ride the Port au Port Peninsula (French Ancestors Route 460/463) ahead of their exchange of Pow Wow Vows. A memorable couple of days for sure! Gord Downie at the Heritage Theatre – I’ve been going to the Writer’s at Woody Point Festival ever since its second year (missed the first due to a once in a lifetime North American road trip)! We’ve purchased many a ticket and have attended many a function – the vibe here is magic. In my opinion, its among the very best on offer in this province. It was evident to me that Gord was enjoying his time in Gros Morne with his entire family. Bobcaygeon at the breezy Heritage Theatre with a proper liquor licence – nothing, short, of...magic. Late Night in L’Anse aux Meadows – On an evening I’ll simply never forget prior to some morning STEP Vinland meetings I got all tingly

inside. Not sure what it was, the perfectly timed setting sun, the herdof-icberg photo-bombing the sun’s last ditch effort, or the intimate evening narrative, oceanic sounds and smells or the culinary (we’ll call them) “delights” we took in that evening with Mike the Viking (he’s really a local – I think). Underground Salmon, Icebergs, Waterfalls, Humpbacks, Black Bears, Fabric Art and Tea - I think you already get the keyword picture. I don’t have the space enough leftover to even try to talk about my experiences in the Northern Peninsula East area and it’s just as well I didn’t – I’d be at a loss to describe it all anyhow. The word humbling comes to mind. For those of you that have had a hand in creating such magic, go ahead and pat yourselves on the back Newfoundland and Labrador. These kinds of social spaces where resident and non-resident folk can mingle and connect with one another in our magical places really are delivering on our unique brand promise. People are finding themselves as I did, over and over again here in Western Newfoundland. They’ll continue to so in the Fall, Winter and Spring. In my best reporter’s voice – “Mark Lamswood, Tourism Times News, reporting from Western Newfoundland.”

FALL 2014

Submitted by: Randy Letto Executive Director Destination Labrador

It’s been an intense 9-month planning cycle consisting of research, consultations, and visitor appeal assessments; the result of which will help deliver on the brand promise that keeps Newfoundland and Labrador competitive in the global tourism industry. More specifically, the TDVAA project has identified 17 key findings supported by tactical actions that provide the foundation for future plans. To that end it’s a fair question for you to ask what is my role, how can I participate, what should I do? Quite simply connect with your DMO staff and/or volunteer DL board members. As part of the ongoing DMO realignment by the provincial Tourism Board to rationalize public/private leadership structures, there has been an acceptance that DMOs would play a larger role at the regional level in destination and product development. Through regional consultation DL must ensure industry partners are engaged in the planning process. Collectively we must work closely on sub regional development plans to rationalize one overall strategic plan that helps direct public and private investment that supports the Vision (Uncommon Potential) of the provincial tourism industry. If you volunteer or work with not-for-profit organizations, municipalities or within the private-sector in the tourism industry, your voice is important! Ask us today about what our plans are and how that involves you.


Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador Announcements

Luke Norman Parsons is an ambitious individual entering his first year of studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland – Grenfell Campus, with plans to pursue an engineering degree. Regarded as a role model among his peers, Luke is an accomplished athlete who believes in giving back to his community volunteering with minor hockey as well as the Western Health Youth Outreach Program. His academic abilities combined with his determination to achieve his goals will ensure a future filled with much success. Luke is the son of Norman and Susan Parsons, owners/operators of Hospitality NL member, Bottom Brook Cottages located in Rocky Harbour.

For 40 Years a leader in Event Technology and Support Audio Visual Trade Shows Simultaneous Interpretation Sound and Lighting systems 3D Renderings and Floor Plans 24 hour support, 7 days a week

Consumer Choice Award for Business Excellence. 3rd consecutive year Winner of the Hospitality NL 2014 Corporate Partner of the Year

800 640 4691

709 722 0864

Terra Barrett

Terra Barrett of St. John’s is a highly focused individual commencing postgraduate work studying Public Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland while concurrently completing the Museum Association of NL’s Certificate in Museum Studies. Terra’s future plans are to share her love and knowledge of NL through various art forms including history, stories and craft. Propelled by a strong sense of pride for her home, Terra will undoubtedly ensure that others are able to appreciate the beauty of Newfoundland and Labrador for many years to come. Terra is the daughter of Nathan Barrett, an employee of Hospitality NL member City of St. John’s.

Jane Pardy


“The quality of this year’s applicants made for a very difficult decision,” says Hospitality NL Chair, Rex Avery. “Since 2008, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador has had the privilege to award the Silver Anniversary Scholarship and the review process is becoming more and more difficult each year as the quality of applications continues to exceed our expectations. This year’s recipients are two outstanding individuals and Hospitality NL is proud to provide financial support to these students in the pursuit of their future goals, helping them to realize the bright futures that are before them.” Established in 2008 for Hospitality NL’s 25th anniversary year, the Silver Anniversary Scholarship is generously supported by the Boone family and the Sparkes family, two families with a long tradition of innovation and leadership within the tourism community. Each year, two Silver Anniversary Scholarships are awarded to a dependant or employee of a Hospitality NL member to assist with the cost of post-secondary education. The scholarships are awarded based on educational goals and direction, academic performance, extra-curricular activities and community involvement.  Each recipient will receive a $1500 scholarship.

Luke Norman Parsons

FALL 2014

On September 8, 2014, Hospitality NL was pleased to announce Luke Norman Parsons of Rocky Harbour and Terra Barrett of St. John’s as the recipients of the 2014 Silver Anniversary Scholarship.

Hospitality NL announces new appointee to NL Tourism Board

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to welcome Ms. Jane Pardy, President, Stellar Properties Inc. and Flow Consulting, as one of its industry representatives on the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board. “As the tourism industry approaches the halfway mark to our collaborative Vision, I am pleased to welcome Ms. Pardy to the NL Tourism Board,” says Hospitality NL Chair, Rex Avery. “The potential of the tourism industry to enhance the economy and way of life for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians is just beginning to be understood and the Tourism Board plays an integral role in that transformation. I am confident Ms. Pardy’s skills and experience in strategic and business development will complement and enhance those of fellow Tourism Board members resulting in a great team and the realization of our industry vision.” Ms. Pardy has more than 15 years of experience working in the tourism industry and is the President of Stellar Properties Inc., owner/operators of Clarenville Inn. She is a long-standing member of Hospitality NL who consistently demonstrates the importance of stakeholder collaboration as a means to further industry development.


FALL 2014

New Members Tourism Times is a quarterly publication of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador. Opinions expressed by contributers and advertisers do not necessarily represent those of Hospitality NL.

Hospitality NL Board of Directors Rex Avery Dion Finlay Kelly Finlay Helena Lawlor Michelle Heath Kathie Hicks Connie Rose Brian Rose Scott Hillyer Annette Parsons

Chair Vice-Chair Secretary/Treasurer Director Director Director Director Bed & Breakfast Association Restaurant Association Hotel/Motel Association

(Full board contact information available at

Staff Listing Carol-Ann Gilliard Chief Executive Officer Juanita Ford Manager, Workforce and Industry Development Leslie Rossiter Manager, Policy and Communications Craig Foley Manager, Membership/ Networking and Technology Karen So Accountant Tania Heath Membership Coordinator Melissa Ennis Social Media Communications Coordinator Jessica Greenwood Membership and Training Coordinator Lynn Taylor NL Tourism Board Manager

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is thrilled to welcome the following new members to our tourism network: Brookside R.V. Park and Golf Resort Main Road Hatchet Cove, NL Contact: Brian Maher (709) 546-2777 Elizabeth Burry Studios P.O. Box 29112 12 Gleneyre Street St. John’s, NL A1A 5B5 Contact: Elizabeth Burry (709) 697-1061

StudentFresh Suite 3033, Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation St. John’s, NL A1C 5S7 Contact: Joseph Teo (709) 746-8915 Tweet’s Travel – T.P.I. 9 Killick Drive Outer Cove, NL A1K 0J7 Contact: Helena Lawlor (709) 740-3001

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is working for you!

Reach out to your membership team: Craig Foley, Jessica Greenwood and Tania Heath, to learn how to get the most out of your membership with Hospitality NL.


Head Office 71 Goldstone Street (Suite 102) St. John’s, NL A1B 5C3 Tel: (709) 722-2000 Toll Free: 1-800-563-0700

Hospitality NL’s Board and staff would like to extend best wishes and congratulations to Membership Coordinator, Susie Greene, as she welcomes her first baby into the world this fall.

Tourism Times is published four times per year

Desktop Layout Image 4 Digital Printing & Design Inc. 1170 Topsail Road, Mount Pearl, NL A1N 5E8 T: 709-747-3850 E: W:

Also, a warm welcome to Tania Heath who has joined the Hospitality NL team as the new Membership Coordinator.

For all the latest up-to-date information and news, please visit Updated daily!


Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial Tourism Industry Association, is focused on advocacy, education, the adaptation of innovative technology and the promotion of a strong member network. Through forward thinking and fostering the growth of its members, Hospitality NL continues to be the leader of the tourism industry in the province. For information on membership, please contact

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is supported by the tourism industry and

Nominations are now being accepted for the


Recognizing individuals and organizations that rank among the most innovative and passionate in the tourism industry, the Tourism Excellence Awards will be presented as part of Hospitality NL’s 2015 Conference and Trade Show

Gander - February 24-26, 2015

If you are interested in serving on the Tourism Excellence Awards selection committee, please contact

Corporate Partner of the Year

Tourism Champion

Accommodator of the Year

Tourism Innovator of the Year

Tourism Business of the Year

Other awards presented during Hospitality NL’s Conference and Trade Show include: Cultural Tourism Award sponsored by Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism and Hospitality NL

Sustainable Tourism Award sponsored by Parks Canada and Hospitality NL

Doug Wheeler Award presented by Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

as well as sector awards presented by Cruise Newfoundland and Labrador, the Restaurant Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (RANL) and the Bed & Breakfast Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. The deadline to submit nominations is Tuesday, January 13, 2015. For more information, please visit or contact the Tourism Excellence Awards coordinator, Melissa Ennis.

Tourism Times - Fall 2014  

Newsletter of the tourism industry association of Newfoundland & Labrador

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