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Newsletter of the Tourism Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador


Summer 2013

Tourism Charter

The Twillingate Tourism Charter, signed during Tourism Week, represents the start of the implementation of a sustainable tourism plan under the Strategic Tourism Expansion Program (STEP). Led by a team of local tourism and cultural operators, festival organizers and municipal leaders, Twillingate’s STEP Plan is a collaborative effort between the community and the industry to grow tourism in the area.

Know Your Place I was recently blessed with the opportunity to participate in Tourism Week events around the province. If it has been a while since you attended a networking event with your peers in tourism, I suggest you try it again. Soon. Before hitting the road, I was worried about how tourism stakeholders were feeling right now after taking a few Carol-Ann Gilliard knocks to the confidence CEO, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador recently. It is no secret that marketing investment is the ‘Holy Grail’ to every tourism destination so the recent 30% cut to our provincial budget was a blow that none of us expected and the sting is still hot. Add to that, the threat of industrialization in and around Gros Morne National Park, one of our most sacred tourism places. This development can potentially put Gros Morne’s UNESCO World Heritage Site designation at risk, so there is little wonder that our industry is feeling like we are on shaky ground. Yet, because of some major accomplishments, the industry has never had cause for such optimism and enthusiasm. Aside from having a marketing strategy that is the envy of pretty much anyone who knows anything about marketing, we were able to demonstrate that we are not just a pretty face by announcing that, for the first time in history, we have reached a billion dollars in annual tourism spending on our path towards $1.6 billion by 2020. We have achieved steady increases in resident and non-resident trips and spending and realized steady, stable growth in our GDP contribution to the provincial economy. We have demonstrated that we can not only build a solid vision and strategy, but we can also commit to it, implement it, and achieve it!

needs to be done to keep their non-profit sites and attractions open and operating efficiently and effectively for our travellers. I saw firmness in the commitments that operators are making to each other, to work together, to share and grow together. I saw resilience in the eyes of municipal leaders, who are working against odds to build their communities into great places to live, work and invest and who understand the role that tourism and travel plays in those goals. In all of their faces I saw the power to make our Vision happen. Tourism operators and partners throughout Newfoundland and Labrador know what we have here. They know we have a special place and special people; they are helping to build tourism because they know it is one of the ways to keep both! They know what tourism can mean for their families, friends and communities. They know it takes hard work and are committed to their role. Tourism operators, employees, supporters and volunteers put their hearts and souls into serving and enriching the lives of travellers. They do it for a greater good and deeper meaning that goes way beyond just the pure economics of tourism. I am no longer worried if we will achieve our vision. I am more confident than ever that we will. Our tourism stakeholders all over the province will ensure that it happens. The only question now is when...will it be sooner or later? That part remains to be seen. “Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Meade Spending time with the people of tourism in their environment, gaining strength from their strength, energy from their energy, passion from their passion was the best thing I could have done to celebrate Tourism Week. I would encourage all of you to do the same whenever the opportunity presents itself. You never know. It might just help you know your place. All the very best!

I am neither sugar-coating nor blowing anything out of proportion when I say that we are at a crossroads in our development as a tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. The decisions made in the very short term will have the ability to either set our industry on a direct course towards Vision 2020 or, simply put, not. So, as I loaded up the car to spend some time with tourism operators and partners in their communities, I wondered what I would see on their faces: triumph or defeat.

Summer 2013

After 15 years of working in tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador, I continue to be amazed and inspired by the perseverance, commitment and passion of the people in the tourism industry.


I did not see defeat, not by a long shot. I saw determination in the faces of business owners, who spoke confidently about the investments they are making in their products, experiences and communities. I saw pride in the faces of employees, who spoke of their exchanges with travellers who are forever changed by the people and places they meet in our province. I saw resolve on the faces of volunteers who are doing whatever Marieke Gow, Kathi Stacey, Tineke Gow and Carol-Ann Gilliard at the Eastern Destination Management Organization’s Tourism Networking Event at the Sir William F. Coaker Factory Building in Port Union.

The Value of Tourism As our industry bids farewell to a very successful Tourism Week, my mind is drawn back to a recurring theme that was celebrated throughout the week: the Value of Tourism.

How do we share the message of tourism and travel in NL and all its potential? During Tourism Week we tried to share our message through everything from traditional stakeholder sessions and luncheons to social media and call in radio shows.  Only time will tell if we did a good job but I believe there are indications we can look out for to gauge whether or not we were successful…

After hearing many diverse tourism stakeholders share their stories about the path that led them to our province and industry, and the paths they are forging towards future prosperity, I’m left Darlene Thomas contemplating what, exactly, Chair, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is the value of tourism. What does it mean?  To me?  To you? To the traveller? To the economy of our province?

Our industry is driven by hard working and innovative people who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and as a result, we are considered the poster child of tourism in Canada, witnessing recent successes and milestones in our industry like never before. Yet we are not without our challenges.  Fracking is knocking on the door to Gros Morne National Park and we just witnessed a 30% cut to provincial marketing investment.  The next test for our industry and indeed whether we are successful in sharing our story and all it holds for our province and people will unfold in the very near future... Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it” and I hope he is right as the momentum we have worked so hard to achieve must not be lost. 

Some of those questions are easy to answer. To the province, it means a solid and reliable sustainable investment opportunity.  It represents more than 2,500 small businesses, close to 18,000 jobs and a GDP contribution that has kept pace with provincial growth efforts.  It means more than a billion dollars in annual tourism spending and more than 500,000 nonresident visitors.

So, what is the value of tourism? I think for the tourism operators and stakeholders across the province, value can and will be found in our shared journey.  I think it can and will be found in a shared achievement that brings together a diverse set of partners striving for a common goal.  There are challenges along any great journey but our path forward has been firmly established and we will not be swayed…our message is clear and our will is strong.

To the traveller, it means unspoiled landscapes, untold adventures and an unassuming (and quite charming, many would say) people…would they expect anything less from a people and province that has its own time zone and more dialects than we can count? To the traveller, the value proposition of tourism is indeed, a place quite unlike any other that is without a doubt worthy of being on any bucket list. Value is often highest when the product that is sought is rare and limited – is that not what our industry offers? A rare and special land? An equally rare and special people?

As Maya Angelou said “All great achievements require time.” Well, 2020 is on the horizon and I have no doubt that the passage of the next seven years will seem, at times, both agonizingly slow and incredibly fast but one aspect that will not change is our industry resolve and focus.  When our story is shared in seven years, the value of tourism will still mean many different things to many different people, but it will also mean the achievement of a shared vision of reaching $1.6 billion in annual tourism spending.

To me as a business owner, most recently it has meant additional investment in my business via an extensive renovation and expansion project of which I am very proud. I believe in this industry and our potential.  It is the reason I call this beautiful province my home (having relocated here what seems like a lifetime ago) and the reason I have never felt more at home than I do in Woody Point.  It is not only my work, it is my sense of place and purpose.

If the value of tourism means many different things to many different people, it then begs the question, how do we share our message? Hospitality NL Chair, Darlene Thomas, speaking at the Go Western Newfoundland Tourism Week Mixer at the Glynmill Inn in Corner Brook.

Summer 2013

To me as the Chair of Hospitality NL, it recently meant being part of a team of stakeholders spreading the news about tourism and travel in NL and all the potential it holds for Newfoundland and Labrador and its people, for the economy and for our natural and cultural heritage. Tourism is one of the most stable revenue generating industries in our economy and the potential opportunities and benefits for our communities and residents have never been greater. With the right strategic approach coupled with long-term planning, the tourism and travel industry can further contribute to sustainable community development throughout the province.


A Snapshot of Tourism & Travel in Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism brings new money into the province – tourism is an export industry. The tourism and travel industry has seen great success in working together to achieve our Uncommon Potential: A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism (Vision 2020).















Summer 2013








Tourism Spending ($ million)

Trips (million)


• In 2012, Newfoundland and Labrador reached $1 billion in annual tourism spending – ahead of forecasted targets at this stage of Vision 2020. • Non-resident tourism spending increased 27% between 2009 and 2012, reaching close to $460 million in 2012, the highest ever in the province. • There were 504,000 non-residents visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2012. • Between 2009 and 2012, nonresident visitation increased 21%, surpassing a milestone of half a million annual visitors during that period.


NEWFOU NDLAND CHOCOLATE COMPAN Y Newfoundland Chocolate Company was awarded the 2013 Cal LeGrow Tourism Innovator of the Year award at this year’s Hospitality NL Conference and Trade Show. This award recognizes an individual or company that has developed a tourism business, market, product, process, initiative or an unconventional approach to an existing market, product or process, having a positive impact on the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. Newfoundland Chocolate Company is owned and operated by Brent Smith and Christina Dove and is based in St. John’s, NL.

Interview with Newfoundland Chocolate Company 2013 Cal LeGrow Tourism Innovator of the Year

How does the Newfoundland Chocolate Company remain innovative and unique in its business approach? We’ve tried hard to cultivate a culture of innovation.  For example, on the chocolate making side, we’ve made sure there is ample room for our chocolatiers to experiment, innovate and play.  Rarely a day goes by when I don’t have a chocolatier handing me a new chocolate idea saying, “try this” (one of the perks of the job!).  On the marketing and promotion end of things, we make sure we have fun, and that involves taking chances as well and sticking your neck out a little.  Recently we did a little Facebook spoof around the Rob Ford fiasco, claiming that our own Mayor O’Keefe was embroiled in a video scandal of his own over allegations of his love affair with milk chocolate.  It had a huge reach and great feedback.  The ‘innovation’ of that campaign was that we weren’t trying to sell chocolate, but merely looking for a way to entertain and people respond to that. As the company has grown and you’ve partnered with other tourism operations, what is one of the most important lessons you have learned?  Choose your partners carefully but once you do, give them the same trust you’d want in return and actively look for opportunities to make them succeed. What does winning the Cal LeGrow Tourism Innovator of the Year Award mean to you?  It goes well beyond the business for us.  We want to see Newfoundland continue to succeed and thrive and ride this wave of optimism and pride for everything it’s got and that means drawing

Chief Chocolate Officer, Brent Smith, accepts the Cal LeGrow Tourism Innovator of the Year award at the 2013 Hospitality NL Conference and Trade Show.

on our natural gifts. As a people, we would never have survived on this wonderful and beautiful but challenging rock in the middle of the North Atlantic for 500 years if we didn’t know a thing or two about innovation.  To be recognized for innovation, in this place so rich with it, and in this time when so many creative and innovative people and businesses are putting Newfoundland and Labrador on the international stage, is an unparalleled honour. What advice would you give a business that is just starting out with a unique idea?  My Scottish grandfather died when I was young so I have only a few treasured memories of him but he had a saying he loved to use and it’s one I’ve always kept close to heart and mind: “a ship in a harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”.  In short, if you think you have a unique idea, you probably do.  So go for it. As an industry, what is the one thing you feel all business owners and operators need to focus on if we are to grow as a destination?  Set our sights high.  Don’t shoot to be the best in town, or the best in Newfoundland or the best in the region.  Strive to be world class, strive to be the best … period, in whatever niche area you can be the best at.  We’re all privileged to live and work in a place of abundance and a world class destination.  We need to stop being so humble and start (politely) pounding our chests and spread the message that there’s no place like Newfoundland.

Summer 2013

How did the idea for the Newfoundland Chocolate Company come about? It was a marriage of passion and opportunity. My wife Christina and I had been fascinated with chocolate for many years – but from differing points of view based on our different backgrounds – mine Geography, Christina’s Neuroscience.  My passion was around cocoa bean origin and the incredible flavours present in single origin chocolate as well as the hands-on making of chocolate which had been a hobby for many years.  Christina’s passion was for the science of chocolate and particularly its health benefits.  The opportunity for a chocolate company in Newfoundland arose from our weekly chocolate buying excursions to Auntie Crae’s which boasted a fine selection of imported chocolates and after years of commenting that ‘someone here should be making a gourmet chocolate’, we looked at each other one day and said, ‘maybe we should be that somebody!”


Free Training Apps Available Now from emerit® Two new training apps are now available from emerit, in versions for iOS (Apple) and Android tablets and smart phones. The apps, “Service 101” and “Build a Menu” are free samples of material found in two of emerit’s full online learning courses and demonstrate the ease of use and effectiveness of emerit’s online learning courses. They are available for free from Google Play and iTunes.

Service 101 This free training app for iOS and Android devices uses learning material from emerit’s full online course “Providing Quality Service/ Professionalism”. The app includes the following three lessons: • Ensuring Customer Satisfaction • Responding to Customer Concerns • Dealing with Challenging Situations Build a Menu This free training app for iOS and Android devices uses learning material taken from emerit’s Food and Beverage Manager online training. Based on National Occupational Standards, the app includes the following three lessons: • Analyze Sales • Build a Menu • Implement the Menu To download these free apps, please visit  Google Play  or the  iTunes Store. For more information about training products and business tools from emerit, visit or contact Krista Sweetland, Hospitality NL’s Certification Coordinator at or 1-800-563-0700 ext. 235.

Provincial Airlines is expanding! The friendliest crew in the sky is now in

Summer 2013

Quebec City!


Krista presents Daphne Drake of Marystown Hotel and Convention Centre with her Housekeeping Room Attendant certification. Way to go Daphne!

Research Corner Submitted by: The Tourism Research Division of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation • Visa’s 2011 Global Travel Intentions Survey found that price is beating scenery, weather and diversity of activities as the #1 factor that determines where potential travellers will go for a trip. • The Canadian Tourism Commission’s Global Tourism Watch study reported in 2012 that affordability is the #1 barrier to out-of province travel for about half of Canadians while close to 20% of Canadians would not travel out of province because they can’t find enticing travel deals. • About 50% each of German, French and British respondents to a June 2012 PhoCusWright survey did not travel in the past 12 months because they found travel was too expensive for them. • The Canadian Tourism Research Institute reported in the fall of 2012 that almost 1 in 3 Canadians always check coupon websites when they are planning a trip. Despite the willingness to spend their spare cash on vacations, potential travellers do so with an elevated level of price sensitivity and a keen eye to discover value. The “deal and special offer seeking” behaviour that developed as a result of the recent recession is here to stay – “aided and abetted” by technology. That is why online travel aggregators, price comparison websites, travel review websites and coupon / group deal websites have become so successful and prevalent in customers’ travel planning and shopping behaviour. While travellers ARE prepared to pay a little extra, they want to feel that it is worth it, that the price they pay presents them with the greatest value. Consumers and tourism business operators alike live in a fast and ever changing environment which is still impacted by the remnants of the recession and which has led to significant changes in how consumers purchase travel products. The responses to TCR’s Exit Survey made it clear that our destination is not immune from this new behaviour that seeks out value and fair prices. The need to focus on delivering value – which also implies quality – and making sure the prices we charge match the value travellers are seeking and expecting is paramount to maintaining our industry’s momentum. Change doesn’t only create challenges but also presents opportunities. Based on the Exit Survey results, there are several opportunities that can be identified, especially when it comes to the things visitors like doing when they are here (e.g. taking advantage of visitors’ interest in history and culture, packaging of multiple experiences, turning activities into experiences, increasing visitor convenience, personalized and customized experiences). Much of this is already happening and there are few boundaries when it comes to being creative to create value.

BIG ERICS INC. 99 Blackmarsh Road P.O. Box 6090 St. John’s, NL A1C 5X8 TEL: 709-579-2151 FAX: 709-576-6866


Summer 2013

The Importance of Delivering Value In 2011, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation (TCR) conducted the Provincial Visitor Exit Survey. As TCR does with all surveys, the Exit Survey asked travellers for comments about their experiences travelling in the province – and commenting they did! We received well over 2,000 verbatim comments from travellers, many of them being passionate expressions of how much visitors enjoyed their trip to our province, the friendliness of the people, the quaintness of the communities and the beauty of the scenery and landscape. However, almost as much as travellers praised their positive experiences, they were also really honest with us, pointing out things they were not quite happy with. But this is one of the purposes of the survey – to find out what visitors liked and what they would like to see improved. What was it specifically that visitors were looking for but didn’t feel was delivered? Based on the survey responses, there are a few areas that require attention: • The quality of the service provided – sometimes this was as basic as providing a clean room, or a meal in a restaurant that warrants the price being charged • Friendly, knowledgeable staff who can solve an issue, make suggestions or recommendations, who know their trade and care about those they serve • Consistent quality across the province – in travellers’ experiences, the quality of campgrounds, hotels/motels and restaurants varies greatly from place to place • Getting the service visitors expect – travellers expect that a 4-star hotel will deliver a 4-star service; they expect modern amenities and up-todate interiors or a variety of food choices in restaurants • Delivering what is advertised, including charging advertised rates or businesses being open when they say they are open A strong sentiment coming across in visitors’ comments was that visitors want to feel that they receive value for the money they spend and quality experiences but indications are that this was not always the case. Clearly, these are issues that need to be addressed. Much work in this regard is already being done, most prominently in the launch and implementation of the industry’s Tourism Assurance Plan (TAP) or the Tourism Destination Development Project. But what exactly is driving this issue and why is it so important to deliver value to our travellers? There is much research indicating that people do want to travel – generally, “vacation and holidays” is the first item on the list that consumers want to spend spare cash on. But they want to do it in a way that provides them with the best “bang for their buck” which is why price is a key driver in destination choice. While price is not the same as value, there is no doubt that the two are very closely linked, especially when it comes to travel … because travel can’t be tried in a store to see what it looks like, you can’t return it if you don’t like it. Travellers are taking a risk when they purchase travel products; and for every risk there has to be a reward. The reward in the case of travel is memorable experiences, where experiences quite often are impacted by the perceived value for the money travellers pay. That’s why meeting expectations and delivering value to the traveller is extremely important to achieve customer satisfaction, which is also key to maintaining our industry’s growth momentum. That price is an extremely important and powerful component along the travel purchase path is reinforced by other research findings:


The Split Peas provided fabulous entertainment during the Central Newfoundland Tourism Week Luncheon at the Anchor Inn Hotel in Twillingate.

CELEBRATING TOURISM WEEK 2013 Tourism Week, celebrated across Canada from June 10-16, provided an opportunity for national and provincial tourism industry leaders to elevate the profile of the tourism and travel industry and show how it offers a long-term strategic solution to diversify and grow economies. Hospitality NL, along with tourism stakeholders across the province, participated in special events, workshops and award ceremonies highlighting the tremendous value of tourism and travel to the province and its people showing exactly how tourism helps

The Honorable Terry French, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, kicks off Tourism Week at the Foxtrap Marina.

Members of the tourism industry have a discussion with Minister Derrick Dalley during the Central Newfoundland Tourism Week Luncheon.

Summer 2013

create a great place to live, visit, work and invest.


Hospitality NL CEO, Carol-Ann Gilliard, stops for a visit with Natasha and Trudy at the St. Jude Hotel while out on the road.

EDMO and Hospitality NL Celebrate Tourism Week at the Sir William F. Coaker Foundation in Port Union.

Rick Stanley of Ocean Quest Adventures introduces their newest vessel, Ocean Quest Mermaid, at the start of Tourism Week.

As part of Tourism Week, Hospitality NL Board member, Peter Antle, visits the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook to check out recent upgrades.

Hospitality NL Board member, Dion Finlay, brings greetings at the City of St. John’s Annual Tourism Awards Ceremony as part of Tourism Week.

Many gathered in Corner Brook for the Go Western Newfoundland Tourism Week Mixer at the beginning of Tourism Week.

(Photo courtesy of City of St. John’s)

Hospitality NL Training Coordinator, Scott Penney, conducts a SuperHost Customer Service Training workshop at the Holiday Inn Express in Deer Lake during Tourism Week.

A group of tourism professionals participate in SuperHost Customer Service Training at the Mount Peyton Hotel in Grand Falls-Windsor during Tourism Week.

Summer 2013

Tourism professionals from the Twillingate area who recently completed SuperHost Customer Service Training receive their certificates.


Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board Update Submitted by: Lisa McDonald, Manager, NL Tourism Board tourism planning. The sessions provided a forum for tourism service and attraction providers to ask questions and provide feedback before this exciting initiative got underway. We were delighted with the attendance and input received and are now in the process of integrating some of the feedback into the initiative. Over the course of June and July, relevant information and data that will help inform the evaluation and appraisal of the Eastern Region’s visitor appeal and competitiveness in the tourism marketplace will be gathered. A series of findings and recommendations based on the analysis of the data will then be generated to understand the visitor appeal of the destination. Destination Development Public Session, Marystown, May 2013

Destination Development Plan - Update Over the course of approximately the last two years the NL Tourism Board has been undergoing extensive research and planning on a forward looking Destination Development (DD) strategy and process for Newfoundland and Labrador. The intent is for this to be as leading edge as our provincial approach to marketing and delivering on our brands’ promise. Under the Tourism Board’s leadership all partner organizations have agreed upon facilitating a proactive, intentional and collaborative product enhancement process entitled a Tourism Destination Visitor Appeal Appraisal (TDVAA). The TDVAA will be vital to providing all stakeholders (government and industry) with an appraisal of our current tourism assets set against the backdrop of consumer demands and travel behaviors and our ability to compete in the global tourism marketplace. This process will be implemented regionally, starting with the Eastern region. It will be coled by industry and government and see the establishment of regional advisory committees comprised of industry (not-for-profit and for-profit) members who will play a vital role in the success of this initiative. BRAIN TRUST Marketing & Communications (Richard Innes, lead) in partnership with the Tourism Café (Dr. Nancy Arsenault) have been engaged as the facilitating consultants for the TDVAA project.  Both have extensive experience in tourism destination planning and experiential tourism development. 

Summer 2013

The initiative is designed to provide a foundation of knowledge about Newfoundland and Labrador’s “appeal” from the customer’s perspective. This knowledge will inform the tourism industry about their strengths in delivering memorable travel experiences and identify where resources are needed to enhance the competitiveness of the destination and individual tourism services and attractions. The process will ultimately identify a series of recommendations and action steps that will enable the tourism industry, in collaboration with Hospitality NL, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation (TCR) and the Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) to create innovative, authentic and new tourism experiences and enhance existing tourism attractions and infrastructure. This in turn leads to growth in visitation and revenues for the tourism industry and the province.


During May 2013, the Eastern DMO, Hospitality NL and TCR organized a series of public sessions and webinars to brief stakeholders on the role of the project, the process and its importance to long-term sustainable

If you would like more information on this initiative please contact Lisa McDonald, Tourism Board Manager at New faces around the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board In spring 2013, Barry Rogers of Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours was announced as the new Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board; Trevor Pilgrim of Mayflower Inn & Adventures/Mayflower Outfitters was announced as a new industry representative on the Board; while Larry Laite, General Manager of the Capital Hotel, began his term as representative and Chair of Destination St. John’s. Mr. Rogers is the owner and president of Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours in Twillingate and St. John’s. He is a committed volunteer and advocate for the tourism industry having recently served as one of Hospitality NL’s representatives on the NL Tourism Board as well as on the board of Adventure Central, the regional Destination Management Organization for Central Newfoundland. Mr. Pilgrim is the owner of Mayflower Inn & Adventures and Mayflower Outfitters in Roddickton and has more than 20 years experience working in the tourism industry. He is a tireless ambassador for Newfoundland and Labrador, volunteering extensively with industry associations and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Go Western Newfoundland, the regional Destination Management Organization. Mr. Laite is the General Manager of the Capital Hotel in St. John’s and has been working in the tourism industry for 25 years. He is currently the Chair of Destination St. John’s (DSJ) and has served on the Board of Directors of DSJ since 2004. Previously, Larry has served on the Executive of Canada Select as Provincial Chair in NL as well as National President. He has also been involved as a member in several regional economic development and tourism organizations across the province. The NL Tourism Board extends its sincerest congratulations to Barry, Trevor and Larry! Their tourism knowledge and business expertise will be valuable additions to the Tourism Board and will help guide industry down the path of sustained growth and development towards the goal of generating $1.6 billion in annual tourism spending by 2020.

For more information on the NL Tourism Board, and Vision 2020, please visit:

A Snapshot of Tourism & Travel Jobs Total Tourism Jobs in NL by Industry

Share of Total Spending


415 1,898


435 1,626

460 1,426

































Recreation and Entertainment


Travel services

Food and Beverage • Despite labour market supply challenges and some rough years for the economy, tourism’s share of employment in NL remains fairly steady between 8% and 9% of jobs in the NL economy. • Tourism offers 17,581 jobs throughout all parts of Newfoundland and Labrador. • These jobs are not limited to front line customer service positions. • 35% of these jobs are supervisory, managerial and professional occupations.

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Summer 2013



From The Regions Submitted by: Rhonda Hutton Director of Marketing Destination St. John’s

Artistic Rendering. St. John’s Convention Centre Expansion. Stantec Architecture Ltd.

Build It & They Will Come

A very exciting project is underway in St. John’s: the St. John’s Convention Centre (SJCC) is expanding. There have been a number of press releases and announcements, so perhaps most tourism operators are aware of the expansion. But what will it mean for the tourism industry? In case DSJ colleagues across the province are not aware I thought I would take this opportunity to update you about why we are excited and why you should be too. In 2009 a study was conducted by PKF Consultants and it reinforced the assertion that the expansion to the St. John’s Convention Centre (SJCC) is good for the entire province. Newfoundland and Labrador is on the travel bucket list for many and Associations get a greater attendance record when their conference is held in St. John’s. Destination St. John’s delegate surveys show that 43-47% of delegates extend their stay and 59% travel throughout the Province. And there is nothing better for business than a line-up, except when you have to turn people away that want to come. There is a pent up demand for the destination but SJCC is either too small or inappropriately configured. Some conferences will not repeat because of the logistical challenges of the existing Centre. The expansion will allow these groups to return or experience Newfoundland and Labrador for the first time. This investment dovetails with Tourism Vision 2020. Convention business is mostly “shoulder season” business and it builds capacity with airlines. When the group events are done, delegates become travellers and visit restaurants, gift shops, festivals, theatre performances, etc. in and around St. John’s and across the Province. The 30 month countdown is on to the grand opening. An expanded convention Centre means more visitors and a great lift to reaching our Vision 2020 goal of reaching $1.6 billion in tourism revenues. The DSJ team is hard at work ensuring that the new and improved SJCC is top of mind for meeting planners across the country and the U.S. Exciting times? You bet.

Summer 2013

Submitted by: Janice Goudie Manager of Travel Trade & Media Relations Adventure Central Newfoundland


Submitted by: Kathi Stacey, Executive Director Eastern Destination Management Organization

Participants of the EDMO 2013 Quality Service/Visitor Experience Training Workshop in Marystown.

The Destination Development Process Begins in Eastern!

EDMO has been hard at work this quarter! With increasing membership, consumer shows, our Destination Development Plan, and now the busiest time of year for tourism in NL, it has been an incredibly busy and rewarding time for the organization! The operators of Eastern Newfoundland were represented at 3 consumer shows this spring, including Boston, Ottawa, and Halifax and Rendezvous Canada 2013 in Ottawa. Of special note at these shows was the presence of St. Pierre et Miquelon next to the EDMO booth, representing a new focus on a rewarding partnership between Eastern Newfoundland and the French islands. This relationship will continue to develop to the benefit of both regions! The Destination Development Process has begun in Eastern Newfoundland! This exciting initiative started in May with public sessions across the destination. We look forward to working with Brain Trust and collaboratively with our industry partners and our champion working groups to make this a successful and insightful process for the entire province. The EDMO was delighted to host its 2nd Annual Visitor Experience Training Workshop in Marystown at the Marystown Hotel and Convention Centre. The Bonavista Institute For Culture Tourism (BICT) partnered with us to facilitate this workshop, and delivered an amazing series of sessions and activities. Designed for frontline staff, management, and operators, it focuses on customer service and the resulting visitor experience – that integral connection between customer and business that makes up the core of our industry. Special thanks to our funding partners the Department of Innovation, Business, and Rural Development for making this event possible and to tourism employers and employees for their participation. EDMO is looking forward to making this an annual event and we are already planning for 2014. Wishing you all a successful tourism season. more knowledgeable about the products and services found throughout the region. Representatives from 40 businesses come out for the event, most having participated the previous year and finding it so successful they opted to return again. In total, 350 8-minute “dates” were had during the one day workshop and participants walked away knowing a little more about the adventures to be had in Central.

Central operators striving to be the best!

Tourism operators in Central Newfoundland have always been friendly and courteous. But two workshops have recently helped them take things to a new level.

With a great product you need superb service and that’s just what 22 front line staff learned in Twillingate on May 22. Scott Penney of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador facilitated SuperHost Atlantic – a training course designed to help increase the quality of customer service.

Adventure Central Newfoundland’s second annual Central Rendezvous was held in Grand Falls-Windsor on May 1. This event mixes speed-dating type meetings with tourism operators, which results in employees becoming

“Mr. Penney was a great facilitator,” said participant Janice Goudie. “His teaching skill, along with the provided materials, made for an interesting and valuable day-long workshop. I would highly recommend it to everyone.”

Submitted by: Randy Letto Executive Director Destination Labrador

Malve Petersmann, MA, MMSt Exhibits/Visitor Experience Coordinator for the Torngâsok Cultural Centre Project seeking input from the 2013 Nunatsiavut Heritage Forum participants.

Building a Tourism Network

Partnerships and collaboration were buzz words at the 4th Annual Nunatsiavut Government Heritage Forum in Rigolet earlier this summer. Researchers, anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, museum curators, and archivists from Winnipeg to Washington, from Nain to North West River gathered to present their research and share their wealth of knowledge. There were presentations on research new and old, energizing roundtable consultations on exciting new tourism projects; all shared with community planners, heritage societies, community leaders and children in the local school. Partnerships are formed and stakeholders are engaged. Through it all, the tourism network grows stronger. They are the collective custodians of the ideas, the opportunities and the energy behind the launch of new products and experiences that are essential to destination development. Their energy and leadership is vital to the growth of the regional and provincial tourism industry. While organizations come and go and the process and methodology may change, the leaders remain. Continuity is built around these vital relationships. In the Labrador Straits, members of the steering committee behind the UNESCO nomination for Red Bay no doubt remember the numerous workshops, committee meetings, the many project hurdles and top of mind development milestones; some recall with ease all of that hard work over a 25 year period! I recall events like the Labrador Straits Studies Conference in 1988; a similar gathering of academic and community based leaders sharing ideas and planting seeds. I was there as one of the three organizers. Reflecting on the past two decades it is rewarding to see much progress in regions like the Labrador Coastal Drive and energizing to see the same seeds being planted in other regions of Labrador. As a result, consultations are richer, leaders are rewarded and progress is infectious. Partnerships rooted in collaborations of choice around a common vision are at play. DMOs like Destination Labrador and others in the tourism network succeed when local communities and industry are engaged. To plug into the network, you can get involved as a volunteer, link with other stakeholders at annual meetings, through conversations online at Destination Labrador’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, market with us on, share your community projects in our newsletter the Kamutik, or simply call or email our office anytime. Our network includes you.

Submitted by: Mark Lamswood Executive Director Go Western Newfoundland

L’Anse aux Meadows, Red Bay and Gros Morne.

The UNESCO Trail - Gros Morne, L’Anse aux Meadows and the Red Bay decision

Return on investment takes on a different meaning to those in the tourism sector – individual tourism operators, to various tourism-related organizations, municipalities investing in tourism development, to other DMOs, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and not to be left out, our federal level of government. Why stop there? How about UNESCO’s take on “return on investment?” How might they choose to throw their scarce resources behind one site versus another? Would their decision-making criteria concentrate solely on fiscal returns and financial matters of the sites they throw their coveted designations behind? Or are there other elements to consider as “returns” for investments made? I am immersed in ROI-speak everywhere I turn. Many are concerning themselves about their respective “return on investment” – and rightly so. For most people and organizations, the bottom line is all about the red and the black. But make no mistake, the “returns” to this province for having two (and possibly a third by June 2013) UNESCO World Heritage Sites equate to more than the total visitor spend. People are drawn to these sites to experience them, write about them, share them with others through blogs, telling their extended family and friends about them in ways we only wish we could incorporate into our already award-winning provincial ad campaign. Travel media are lining up year after year to write about Gros Morne and L’Anse aux Meadows in numerous online and print mediums. Snuggle up to your I-pad, put the kettle on and type “Gros Morne” in a You Tube search and count up the first hand video testimonials on how these two UNESCO designated sites have touched the lives of our visitors the world over. This, from the UNESCO website regarding the benefits of ratification: “[T]he inscription of a site on the World Heritage List brings an increase in public awareness of the site and of its outstanding values, thus also increasing the tourist activities at the site. When these are well planned for and organized respecting sustainable tourism principles, they can bring important funds to the site and to the local economy.” The truth is, it’s extremely difficult to quantify the impact of having these two sites in our own back yard. What people do know, is that visitors from around the world come here due to the designation. What would make things even more difficult to wrap your head around, would be adding a third site to the mix just north of L’Anse aux Meadows in Southeastern Labrador – the Basque Whaling site in Red Bay. Given the close proximity to the western region, the Western DMO is rooting for Red Bay as the returns to this province for acquiring such a Tourism Tri-factor would be considered a sound return on investment by anyone’s measure.

Central Operators at the 2nd Annual Central Rendezvous.

If you want to stay connected to the industry, become a member of Hospitality NL. Contact our Membership Coordinator, Susie Greene at or 1-800-563-0700.

Summer 2013

Access to information and keeping current on industry trends are among the top reasons why businesses become or stay members of Hospitality NL.


Welcome Aboard! On May 20, Barry Rogers of Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours was appointed to the position of Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board.

Summer 2013

Descended from a long line of seafarers, Barry Rogers is the owner and President of Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours in Twillingate and St. John’s. Barry grew up on Twillingate Island where he learned to love and respect the ocean. This upbringing led him to start Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours in Twillingate in Barry Rogers 1999 and has since dedicated himself to providing life-changing experiences and encounters with true Newfoundland and Labrador culture to all of his guests. With expansion into St. John’s, Barry has grown his business into one of the province’s largest and most successful boat tour operations. For over 10 years, he has provided culturally immersive oceanic experiences to visitors as they search for icebergs and whales in two of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most popular tourist destinations. Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours is the recipient of the 2012 Maxxim Vacations Tourism Business of the Year and the 2011 Tourism Atlantic Technology Award.


Barry has recently served on the board of Adventure Central (Destination Management Organization) as well as one of Hospitality NL’s representatives on the NL Tourism Board. The NL Tourism Board is a privatepublic partnership created in 2009 to advise on the implementation of Uncommon Potential: A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism (Vision 2020). The Board comprises fourteen representatives; Chair, four industry leaders, five Destination Management Organizations leaders and four government leaders. Tourism industry representatives of the NL Tourism Board include: • Darlene Thomas, Seaside Suites and Chair, Hospitality NL • Mark McCarthy, McCarthy’s Party Tours and Convention Services • Roger Jamieson, Kilmory Resort • Trevor Pilgrim, Mayflower Inn & Adventures and Mayflower Outfitters • Maria Matthews, Vision The Atlantic Canada Co. and Chair, Go Western Newfoundland • Clyde D. Wells, Skipper Ben’s B&B and Chair, Eastern Destination Management Organization • Larry Laite, The Capital Hotel and Chair, Destination St. John’s • Chad Letto, Northern Light Inn and Chair, Destination Labrador • Peggy Hamilton, Mount Peyton Hotel and Chair, Adventure Central Newfoundland

For more information on the NL Tourism Board, and Vision 2020, please visit:

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 Darlene Thomas Chair Rex Avery Vice-Chair Dion Finlay Secretary/Treasurer and Bed & Breakfast Association Peter Antle Director Juanita Brake Director Annette Parsons Director Connie Rose Director Todd Warren Director Jennifer Davis Restaurant Association Greg Fleming Hotel/Motel Association (Full board contact information available at

Staff Listing Juanita Ford

Karen So

Lakeview Inn 5 Beothuck Street Millertown, NL A0H 1V0 Contact: Barbara Sheppard 709-852-6146

Chief Executive Officer Manager, Workforce and Industry Development

Has your email address, phone number or address changed?

Manager, Technology Accountant

Susan Greene Membership Coordinator Krista Sweetland

Workforce Development Coordinator

Melissa Ennis

Workforce Development Coordinator

Scott Penney Training Coordinator Lisa McDonald

Jumping Bean Coffee 47 Harvey Road St. John’s, NL A1C 2E9 Contact: Jeff LeDrew 709-754-4538

All Seasons Bed & Breakfast 44 Main Street P.O. Box 145 Twillingate, NL A0G 4MO Contact: Mark Racictot 709-884-1955

Leslie Rossiter Manager, Policy and Communications Craig Foley

Evergreen Bed & Breakfast Evergreen Lane P.O. Box 391 Rocky Harbour, NL A0K 4N0 Contact: Sarah Wentzell 1-800-905-3494

stay in


Tourism Board Manager

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

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

Hospitality NL would like to ensure that we have your most up-to-date contact information. Please take a moment to ensure that we know the best ways to get in touch and keep you informed on everything happening in the tourism and travel industry. To update your info, please contact Hospitality NL’s Membership Coordinator, Susie Greene at or 1-800-563-0700.

Stay connected with Hospitality NL at: 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

Summer 2013

Carol-Ann Gilliard

Gros Morne Theatre Festival Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador P.O. Box 655 Corner Brook, NL A2H 6G1 Contact: Gaylene Buckle 709-639-7238


CAFE WHOLESALE coffee company Syrups

Locally Roasted Coffee

Soy and Milk Alternatives

Premium Loose Tea

Ghiradelli Chocolate Sauces

Espresso Machines & Equipment

Smoothie Mix

Umqua Oats

Hot Chocolate

Jumping Bean is your local wholesale distributor of premium café supplies. Jumping Bean has additional value added products such as: • In-room coffee packs • Custom or private label coffee • Giftware products (Bakeapple Tea, Screech Coffee) Jumping Bean offers a full line of home and commercial espresso machines from Jura and Rancilio. (Authorized Distributor) 47 Harvey Road, St. John’s, NL A1C 2E9 (709) 754-4538

Tourism Times Summer 2013  

Newsletter of the tourism industry association of NL

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