Newsletter of the Tourism Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
2014 WAS A SPECTACULAR YEAR FOR ICEBERGS! These natural attractions draw travellers and attention to the impacts of the tourism industry.
Photo Credit: Steve Sheppard Photography
We hear and see the word ‘authentic’ quite regularly in our daily lives, used in advertising to reflect the brand, quality, depth and originality of the products and services we consume. The word is also used in our personal lives to represent the lifestyles we are living and some people even use it to describe themselves and their personalities. Modern wisdom is that if you presume to label yourself or your product as authentic, it is very likely that it will not be perceived as such. That’s because ‘authentic’ is not proven by a label, but rather by doing what you naturally and instinctively know is representative of your real self…if you are truly authentic, you or your product will completely embody it, you own it. For anyone involved in the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador or for those who are simply fans of this spectacular place and people, you will know that our existence as a competitive tourism destination is directly linked to our ability to offer ‘real’ experiences to travellers. ‘Real’ experiences are those that provide visitors to our province with a real glimpse into what it is like to live here and who we are as personable, colourful and warm people. To be truly memorable and fulfilling, the experiences we offer have to create an emotional connection, something that our travellers have never experienced anywhere else in the world. We achieve that powerful emotion by being as real as possible, just being who we naturally are and honouring the things and places that support our rare way of life. We promise that when travellers come here, they will see things that they have never seen before, meet people they will instantly connect with and feel something extraordinary in their souls. The realness of Newfoundland and Labrador’s people, nature, and
culture is, without question, the lure that entices people to make the effort to travel to our province. While we don’t go out there and splash the word ‘authentic’ on our marketing ads, authenticity is nonetheless the very essence of what travellers want and expect to experience during their vacations in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our competitive advantage over the endless scores of places and people out there all claiming to be the real deal is that we have been able to remain true to Newfoundland and Labrador’s identity in our marketing and travel experiences. This is not hard to believe…the tourism industry is full of people with a passion to tell the true NL story and deliver unbelievable vacation experiences. We do what comes naturally to us. We welcome visitors with open arms and absolute pride. We consider them instant friends, can’t do enough for them, go out of our way to share the very special places that we live in and the stories that bring tears and laughter, at the same time! The reward for us in the tourism industry and in communities that host our visitors is that we get to see in their eyes the many, many times that they are blown away by our generosity, friendliness, personality and character and moved by the ruggedness and beauty of the natural environment and wildlife on the land and water around them. A majestic iceberg, an evening meal and a scuff with locals, a day spent on a rugged trail or an evening glass of wine overlooking whales, water and sunset – everything around us is something of rarity in this world that people go to great effort to experience. Our guilty pleasure as the people who work in tourism and travel is that we get to hear their absolute enjoyment and see the life enhancing moments they experience. Our responsibility is to make sure they get everything they expected, and then more. The secret to our success as a tourism destination is to be who we naturally are, because who we are is actually pretty great. That’s what visitors want to experience... not replicas of other people and places they can see and meet anywhere else in the world. This is not to say that we don’t have to rise to hone our interpersonal, professional and customer service skills. Good customer service is easily the underlying pillar of success…if you serve travellers at a level they expect and pay attention to the details, they can look past the many little great things to the most important big things – warmth, beauty, culture and, most of all, authenticity. And then they feel that emotional connection. Throughout the summer, tourism operators and employees, along with transportation providers, will take visitors under their wings and bring them safely around the special places and people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The biggest compliment that we can receive from them in return is their appreciation for fulfilling their vacation dreams. Being authentic means being true to our own personality, values, character and spirit in the face of external pressures. Some destinations have to work hard and spend billions to create a foundation of infrastructure and attractions that will lure travellers. Our best attractions – our people and place – are best served up naturally, without manipulation, treated with honour, pride and respect. In the world of global competitive tourism, Newfoundland and Labrador is blessed with an abundance of rare qualities that sets us apart from anywhere else. My wish to everyone who lives in and loves Newfoundland and Labrador and who helps deliver on the unique brand promise we make to travellers is for you to understand just how amazing you really are and just how much of our collective success is because of you. Just because you are you.
Carol-Ann Gilliard CEO, Hospitality NL @CAGilliard
“...Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable.” —Henry Ford My involvement with Hospitality NL spans a lot of years and I consider myself very fortunate for the many wonderful experiences I have had as a part of this diverse and dynamic tourism network. I will be the first to acknowledge that not all those experiences have been positive ones but they have all taught me something. After all, if we don’t learn what works and what doesn’t work, how can we, as individuals or as an industry, progress? Speaking of what works, I feel very fortunate to have recently witnessed several milestone achievements in our industry in just a few short years. While I truly believe that each of us as individual operators in the Hospitality NL network have made an impact, I believe the big wins are most definitely a product of our collective effort. The tour boat operator, the B&B, the adventure guide, and everyone else who executes their role in the tourism industry have played a part in attracting more than a half million non-resident visitors and generating more than a billion dollars in annual spending. I believe we all can, and should, take credit for these achievements in our industry’s development. That being said, it is equally important that we all take responsibility for any missteps along the path to successfully developing the tourism industry. If we do not acknowledge our mistakes, we cannot learn from them and
will run the risk of repeating them. With the path to Vision 2020 clearly established and approaching the half-way mark, it is essential that we continue to learn and progress. So, what will lead us to progress? What are the factors that will make us and our industry ready, cementing our path to inevitable progress? I suppose I could respond to this by quoting Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” but that’s neither my style nor the point I wish to make. I believe we already know the factors that will make for our success. The true question is whether we can come together to align the elements and embrace our respective roles in order to let progress take place and ultimately reach our industry goal of doubling annual revenues by the year 2020. An essential element to our future progress is the product we sell. There is no disputing the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador is blessed with raw beauty and a landscape that is both rare and awe-inspiring. Drawing thousands of visitors each year, it is this rugged nature that has shaped our history and culture and built the special character that is present in Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. To bridge any gaps that exist between product and our visitors, tourism stakeholders across the province have rolled out the Tourism Assurance Plan and Destination Development Processes. The intent of these initiatives is not to coerce operators into compliance of minimum standards or for Hospitality NL and partner organizations of the NL Tourism Board to act as a “boss of the tourism industry” implementing regulations. The intent is to ensure operators across NL are able to build upon regional strengths and are well-positioned to achieve maximum growth in their businesses while ensuring a consistent and high quality product offering to our travellers. Hospitality NL was proud to take the lead on these initiatives and in the process, gained valuable insight from operators’ expertise. So, are the factors that make for our progress ready? Is the product ready? Yes, I believe it is. It may still require a little fine tuning but we have a foundational product on which to build future success that is the envy of other tourism destinations around the world. So if the product is ready, what remains to be done? The answer to this question and the success of our efforts towards reaching Vision 2020 ultimately lies with us and our willingness to embrace our roles, respect our strengths and acknowledge our weaknesses. Stakeholders must agree to work together and that means sometimes leading the way and at other times, following the path established by others. Whether we are leading or following, we are all equal partners of Vision 2020 and we must each do our part in order to achieve it. I guess we will have to stay tuned to determine if we reach our ultimate goal but I think the signs of progress can be witnessed in not only milestone achievements but the unprecedented levels of collaboration among our industry. Based on this, I for one, think Mr. Ford was right and that our progress is inevitable.
Rex Avery Chair, Hospitality NL @HNLChair Rex speaks at the City of St. John’s Tourism Awards Presentation during Tourism Week.
Staff of Hospitality NL member business, Monastery Spa and Suites, receive their WorldHost® certificates during Tourism Week.
(Photo credit-City of St. John’s)
Rex addresses stakeholders at the Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce Tourism Week Luncheon.
Access and Transportation
continue to be top priorities for members
The results of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2014 Membership Survey are in with Access and Transportation taking top honors among priorities affecting the tourism and travel industry in NL. Each year, Hospitality NL surveys its members to determine how to best meet their needs and learn their projections for the season ahead. With more than a third of survey respondents identifying Access and Transportation as the number one challenge impeding the future growth and competitiveness of their business, the results clearly demonstrate the essential role that Access and Transportation plays in the successful development of the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. “The significant role that a reliable and sustainable transportation system plays in the future success of the tourism industry is undeniable,” says Hospitality NL Chair, Rex Avery. “Modern and efficient provincial ferries, clear and consistent highway signage, airports that can accommodate growing demand, and the provision of affordable and dependable service by Marine Atlantic Inc. are all important elements of a comprehensive transportation system delivering positive customer experiences. “Without a commitment to such a system, Access and Transportation will continue to rank among the top challenges facing our members and their businesses. Hospitality NL continues to advocate for long-term funding from both the provincial and federal governments, guided by a comprehensive transportation strategy that ensures we can meet the evolving needs of travellers and tourism operators.” The second identified priority for members centers around labour market issues and the difficulties facing employers when trying to meet growing labour demands. Recent reform measures announced to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Employment Insurance, population shift, projected continual labour shortages, provincial minimum wage increases and the seasonality of tourism employment all greatly impact industry’s ability to recruit and retain a strong workforce. However, industry remains committed to continued growth and success with Developing Our Workforce included among Vision 2020’s strategic directions. As a result of collaborative efforts from all partners of the NL Tourism Board, industry has benefitted from the successful development and establishment of programs and strategies to recruit and train individuals from strategic demographic groups to address labour needs. “The top two priorities represent significant challenges facing industry growth and development and are weighing heavily upon opera-
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tors’ economic outlook,” adds Avery. “For the first time in the history of our association, members indicated that their projected revenues for the season are not expected to be up from the previous year, with 75% of respondents indicating they expect revenues to be on par or down from 2013. While these results may be indicative of the reduced provincial marketing investment of 2013, our members highlight their determination and commitment to working together to address the issues. Hospitality NL is confident that if all stakeholders work together, we can successfully address these issues and remove any shadow of doubt that we can achieve Vision 2020.” Other member feedback focused on Hospitality NL’s popular Learn and Lead Webinar series with suggestions for future topics including social media, financial training and consumer trends.
Canada Select NL’s Quality Assurance Evolution Canada Select NL, in conjunction with counterparts in Atlantic Canada, has adapted its rating system to better serve the needs of accommodators and guests. Under the revised program launched in 2014, star ratings for fixed roof accommodations will be determined by meeting minimum facility requirements, and assessing quality and cleanliness/state of repair. The new scoring procedure focuses more on the quality of accommodations rather than basic infrastructure and amenities (guidance notes are available for operators). Key differences from the former rating system include minimum entry requirements which must be met by all operators as well as quality scoring and cleanliness/state of repair demerit points to determine the star rating. In order to continue to adapt and evolve to meet traveller needs and expectations, the Board of Directors of Canada Select NL are implementing a strategic plan that will enable the organization to broaden the quality of assurance programming available for operators. Programs will help operators stand out to guests who are looking for particular features and amenities such as accessible properties, pet friendly properties or motorcycle/bicycle welcome programs. By utilizing these programs, individual properties will not only be able to gain a competitive advantage, but also help the entire province become a more competitive destination in our markets.
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Email is one of the best ways for Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador to send timely and relevant information to tourism stakeholders and we want to ensure you continue to receive our communications, including Tourism Times! Canada’s new anti-spam law (CASL) came into effect on July 1, 2014 and includes legislation governing the transmission of commercial electronic messages (CEMs). In order to continue to receive Hospitality NL communications, tourism stakeholders must give consent confirming their interest in remaining on our communications mailing lists. If you have not already granted consent, or have questions about the process, please contact Leslie Rossiter, Manager of Policy and Communications at 709-722-2000 ext. 222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Communications among tourism stakeholders is an essential component of future industry success and growth so be sure to let us know that you wish to continue receiving electronic communications from Hospitality NL! For more information on CASL, please visit the Government of Canada’s anti-spam website at http://fightspam.gc.ca
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WorldHost® Fundamentals Workshops
Since launching WorldHost® customer service training in May, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador has been busy providing training to tourism professionals all over the province. Here are some quotes and photos from a few of the workshops.
I have to say that again this year, our 2014 VIC staff came back with a great appreciation for the WorldHost® training. HRTA Board of Directors and I are very pro to customer service training and would like to thank your Organization for continuing to provide and upgrade this and other training opportunities.
Thanks for great day of training for #bayroberts VIC staff @JessicaHNL, wonderful info.
—Wanda Kelly Heritage Run Tourism Association
—Lois Dawe Bay Roberts Visitor Information Centre (via Twitter)
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It was very informative. The more education we receive the better off we are in the long run.
—Alice Keeping Grand Codroy RV Park
NEWLY CERTIFIED Department of Tourism, Culture & Recreation • Krista Noseworthy, Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor • Yvette Dyer, Supervisor Hillview Terrace Suites • Jeffrey Quilty, Front Desk Agent
The Murphy Centre Town of Portugal Cove - St. Philip's Monastery Spa and Suites Stan Cook Sea Kayaking Quality Hotel Fairfield Inn and Suites Commissariat House Holiday Inn - St. John's Erikson Premises Artisan Inn Trinity Historical Society Parsons and Sons Transportation Town of Springdale Adventure Central NL Pelley's Inn Riverwood Inn Suri's Convenience King's Point Motel Greenwood Inn and Suites Grenfell College College of the North Atlantic, Stephenville Campus Glynmill Inn and Suites Seaside Inn and Suites CVADA Wetlands Interpretation Centre St. Christopher's Hotel Codroy Valley Cottage Country Maclellen Inn Grand Codroy RV Park Stella's Circle Gander International Airport Authority Ocean Delight Cottages Merchant Manor UPS Store Single Parents Association of NL Ches's Fish & Chips Ocean Quest Inc Fortune Head Interpretation Center Town of Fortune Cabestan Ticket Office Fortune Hotel Hillview Terrace Suites Ferryland Lighthouse Picnics City of St. John's Provincial Seamen’s Museum Heritage Run Tourism Association Marystown Hotel & Convention Centre Manuel’s River Hibernia Interpretation Centre Comfort Inn- Gander Gander & Area Chamber of Commerce Town of Gambo R&J Restaurant Serenity Cottage Twillingate Island Boat Tours Twillingate New World Island Development Association The Old Salt Box Co. Anchor Inn Hotel & Suites Whitsha Inn Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours Canvas Cove Bistro Mount Peyton Hotel Town of Botwood Royal Canadian Legion - Botwood Brittany Inns Terra Nova Golf Resort Grenfell Heritage Hotel & Suites Grenfell Historical Society Sea Echo Hotel French Shore Interpretation Centre Dockside Motel KOA Campgrounds Oceanview Hotel Norris Point Heritage Centre O’Brien’s Whale & Bird Tours Southern Shore Folk Arts Council Mullowney’s Puffin & Whale Tours Cape Bonavista Lighthouse Provincial Historic Site Restland Motel Wave Hotel & Fitness Centre ® Registered Trademark of the Province of British Columbia.
Thank you to the businesses and organizations who participated in WorldHost® Fundamentals training from May 1— June 25, 2014.
TOURISM WEEK 2014
Staff of Hospitality NL member, Ches’s Fish & Chips, receive their WorldHost® certificates.
CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, and NL Tourism Board Chair, Barry Rogers, at an NL Tourism Board meeting during Tourism Week. Attendees of Hospitality NL’s Launch of Tourism Week and WorldHost® Fundamentals.
Attendees mingle during Hospitality NL’s Launch of Tourism Week and WorldHost® Fundamentals.
A great turn out at Go Western Newfoundland’s Tourism Week Mixer.
Hospitality NL staff, Craig & Jessica, visit Hospitality NL member, Newfoundland Insectarium, during Tourism Week.
Recipients of the City of St. John’s Tourism Awards, presented during Tourism Week. Photo credit-City of St. John’s.
Tourism Week 2014 was celebrated across Canada from June 16-20. Throughout the week, national and provincial tourism industry leaders worked to elevate the profile of the industry as a long-term strategic solution for economies. Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador was pleased to celebrate Tourism Week with industry partners by participating in special events throughout the province, highlighting the tremendous value of tourism and travel to Newfoundland and Labrador.
Tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador is attracting more than
HALF A MILLION NON-RESIDENT VISITORS
BILLION DOLLARS IN ANNUAL TOURISM SPENDING
OVER 8% OF THE TOTAL JOBS in our province
Delegates attend the Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce Tourism Week Luncheon at the Albatross Hotel.
9 Hospitality NL Chair, Rex Avery, addresses attendees at the Launch of Tourism Week and WorldHost速 Fundamentals.
The Split Peas provide great entertainment during the Twillingate Tourism Week Luncheon.
Legendary Coasts of Eastern Newfoundland kick start Tourism Week by celebrating with members.
Hospitality NL staff member, Craig, visits member business, Deer Lake Motel, during Tourism Week.
Staff of new Hospitality NL member, Manuels River Hibernia Interpretation Centre, receive their WorldHost速 certificates.
Hospitality NL Chair, Rex Avery, speaks with media about the value of tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Submitted by: Newfoundland Labrador Tourism Board
This year represents the halfway mark to Vision 2020. It is a milestone that everyone that is part of the Vision and the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board is cognizant of and a milestone that acts as a motivator to keep the momentum going. It is also a reminder to take stock. When the Vision was launched and the Tourism Board began its work, the hardest task was determining where and how to start. Working towards the Vision and within the Tourism Board partnership has been a learning process for everyone. After all, the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador has been recognized as a leader for our strategic thinking, our creative marketing, and our innovative way of doing business. So, it is only fitting that as we find our way, we take a look at our progress and assess the way we work together as individual organizations. One of the first challenges that the Tourism Board approached was the challenge of alignment. Alignment is a priority that is rooted in the Vision’s Strategic Direction # 1 – Private Public Leadership. Alignment has been a massive undertaking and something that requires a great deal of ongoing effort even within the partnership of the Tourism Board itself. But, there is so much value in that collective way of thinking and doing, that all Tourism Board partners are committed to not only preserving existing partnerships, but also encouraging more. After all, we have just short of six years to reach our goal and we hold that responsibility squarely on our shoulders. If we are to continue to effectively lead the tourism industry into 2020, we have to be able to reflect upon ourselves as leaders, as partners, and as business people. My hope is by identifying our successes and our continued challenges that we can work towards an improved way of doing business that will be more impactful for everyone. Another huge accomplishment of late is the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Assurance Plan (TAP). The Traveller’s Guide deadline for the TAP has passed and I am delighted how industry has risen to the challenge. The implementation of the TAP is directly linked to the Vision’s Strategic Direction # 4 – Product Development. A quality assurance program like TAP speaks to the commitment of improving the traveller experience and represents a big step for the industry in acknowledging the importance of providing consistent, reliable and quality products and services for travellers. Although the May 31 deadline has passed, our collective TAP efforts will continue. Tourism Board partners will continue to educate and coach operators towards the more comprehensive use of best practices that will build upon TAP’s minimum standards. So, while the choice to become TAP compliant will continue to be 100% the choice of the individual tourism operator, Tourism Board partners will be providing ongoing opportunities for operators to learn about the TAP standards, along with many other best practices. The Destination Development planning process has also been rolling out throughout the province this year. Also coming out of the Vision’s Strategic Direction # 4 – Product Development, the Destination Development process will assist in identifying the opportunities in each region of the province, how they may be linked, and what the priorities may be. As an initiative of the NL Tourism Board, all partners are intimately involved with the Destination Development planning process with hired consultants, Richard Innes of BrainTrust Marketing and Communications and Nancy Arsenault of the Tourism Café. The Destination Development planning process will take place in each of the five regions of the province – Eastern, Labrador, Western, Central and St. John’s. As each process unfolds, it is anticipated that unique opportunities for each region will emerge, as well as common themes that may provide a link between the regions and further
opportunities to enhance the visitor experience. Implementation of the findings and recommendations contained within each of the final reports is an extremely high priority for all partners as during sessions, implementation was cited as the most important aspect of the process. As such, an implementation plan is currently being developed, which will include a strategic priority setting process to enable the identification of short-term and long-term objectives and priorities, including the development of an action plan to assist with implementation. Using existing opportunity management (OM) processes and tools, such as those administered by the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, an approach will be implemented that maximizes the information already gathered during phase one. In the case of the Eastern region, which already has a final report, a set of decision criteria will be determined specifically for this process to help Eastern region tourism stakeholders identify priorities from the recommendations outlined within the final Eastern Destination Development report. Continued participation from industry will be critical. If you have any questions about how you can be involved in the Destination Development planning process for your region, please contact your regional Destination Management Organization. The progress that has been made is tremendous, but it cannot be discounted how important individual tourism operators are to everything we do and everything we stand for. Every action of the NL Tourism Board is to enhance tourism in this province, to make it a sustainable industry that creates viable careers options for operators and employees, while also contributing to the provincial economy in a way that creates opportunities for all industries. As we head into the busy summer season and prepare to do what we do best, I know we are ready to take on the world! Someone once said that a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor, but this province, and the people that are so dedicated to the work they do in the tourism industry have what it takes to be great. I know that rough waters will not deter our drive to maximize our potential. We have what it takes to navigate uncharted territory and come out with a great story, a story that is already the envy of many places around the world. You are a part of that story, the part that brings it to life. For that, I thank you. See you on the next tide,
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Research Corner Submitted by: The Tourism Research Division of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
Summary of Estimates of Non-Resident Tourism Visitation and Expenditures in Newfoundland and Labrador 2012 and 2013
Visitation to Newfoundland and 2012 2013 Percent Change Labrador recorded a small decrease Mode Visitors Expenditures $M Visitors Expenditures $M Visitors Expenditures $M during 2013. Estimates indicate that Auto 106,200 $96.4 99,900 $92.2 -5.9 -4.4 the province received approximately Air 360,000 $359.1 367,200 $372.5 2.0 3.7 497,900 non-resident visitors from Cruise 39,100 $3.4 30,800 $2.7 -21.2 -20.6 January 1 to December 31, 2013, Total 505,300 $458.9 497,900 $467.4 -1.5 1.9 representing a decrease of 1.5% over Source: Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Tourism Research Division 2012. Associated expenditures are Note: Based on results from the 2011 Newfoundland and Labrador Air and Auto Exit Survey Program and annual Travel Indicator Program. Data subject to revisions. estimated to have reached $467.4 million, a 1.9% increase over 2012. Basques and Argentia increased 4.1%. The remaining highway centres 2013 once again realized increased passenger levels at the province’s reported an increase of 4.1% in the number of visitors. seven major airports as airlines boosted non-stop seat capacity and Visitation to the Provincial Historic Sites was similar to 2012: 56,600 extended many of their services. Non-resident air travel – the largest people (-0.1%) visited the sites. Cape Bonavista Lighthouse (10,800) segment of our market – increased 2% over 2012 levels to an estimated and the Beothuk Interpretation Centre at Boyd’s Cove (8,200) were 367,200 visitors. Expenditures for non-resident air visitors are estimated the top two visited sites. Overall, National Historic Sites experienced a to have reached $372.5 million, up 3.7% over 2012. The number of drop of 5% in the number of visitors with 126,200. While Cabot Tower boarding and deplaning passengers reached new record levels with was the most popular site with over 51,000 visitors, Red Bay benefited 2,274,490 passengers, an increase of 1.7% compared to 2012. significantly from its the designation as a UNESCO world heritage site, 2013 is also the fourth year in a row of declining non-resident auto increasing visitation by 18% to 7,700 visitors. traffic, with overall visitation declining 5.9% compared to the year before. With 92,570 nights sold, camping activity was mixed across the The number of auto visitors dropped below 100,000 for the first time since national and provincial parks. Terra Nova (17,200 camping nights sold), 1986. Declines were realized in all auto markets during 2013: Maritimes Butter Pot (14,840) and Barachois Pond (12,200) were the most popular -6.7%, Ontario -7.2, Quebec -3.7%, other Canada -2.1%, United States parks. Camping remains a popular activity among residents of the -3.1% and other countries -29.2%. Spending by auto visitors registered province who accounted for 86% of the camp nights sold at the provincial a decrease of 4.4% to $92.2 million. Overall Marine Atlantic passenger parks. movements (both directions) reached 329,321 in 2013, a decrease of 2013 was an exceptional year for the meetings and conventions 6.9% over 2012 levels, while the number of passenger related vehicles sector, with 104 events of at least 50 room nights, matching the record decreased 6.2% during the same period. set in 2011. It was also up from the 90 reported in 2012, a year in A review of detailed itinerary information provided by the Cruise which some events were cancelled due to the strike at the St. John’s Association of Newfoundland and Labrador indicates that the province International Airport. The number of delegates reached a record high of received approximately 30,800 unique1 cruise visitors during the 2013 25,907, an increase of 17% over 2012. Total room nights attributed to the cruise season. This performance follows the record of 39,100 unique 104 events reached 42,252, up 30% compared to 2012. visitors set in the 2012 cruise season and still represents the second For more details on the 2013 provincial tourism performance highest level ever achieved. Overall, the province recorded 64 port calls and additional statistics on attraction visitation, ferry operations and to 23 different ports by 20 vessels. other indicators, please visit TCR’s tourism statistics website at http:// Roofed accommodation performance increased during 2013. www.tcr.gov.nl.ca/tcr/stats/index.html for the 2013 Provincial Tourism Occupancy rates on a provincial level reached 51.7%, an increase of Performance report. 1.5 percentage points over 2012’s 50.2%.2 Performance was mixed at the regional level, with increases in Labrador (3.6 points) and on the Avalon Peninsula (3.2 points) leading the province. Occupancy rates in Newfoundland and Labrador Roofed Accommodation Occupancy Levels by Region the Central region increased 2.2 points while in the Western region it remained on par with 2012 levels. Only the Eastern region reported a Region 2012 2013 Point Change Average Daily Rate decrease in occupancy for 2013 (-4.1 points). Average daily room rates Province 50.2 51.7 1.5 $127.91 (+5.7%) were up across the board, with the provincial average daily rate up 5.7% Avalon 63.1 66.3 3.2 $138.28 (+5.4%) to $128. Average daily rates increased in all regions. Eastern 40.9 36.8 -4.1 $117.31 (+2.6%) At 117,600, visitation to the provincial Visitor Information Centres Central 39.1 41.3 2.2 $111.12 (+4.6%) was up 3.5% overall for the operating period May 17th to September 27th Western 39.1 39.1 0.0 $117.16 (+5.4%) Labrador 57.6 61.2 3.6 $127.52 (+9.6%) 2013. The centres at St. John’s and Deer Lake airports increased 4.0% Accommodation Module, Tourism Destination Management System (TDMS) as of May 2014 while the number of visitors at the gateway centres located at Port Aux
Unique cruise visitors is Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation estimate, based on an itinerary review, of cruise visitation counting passengers only once regardless of the number of port calls. This differs from Cruise Newfoundland estimates of passenger visits (discussed later) whereby passengers are counted at every port call. Occupancy rate: This is the total number of rooms or units sold divided by the total number of rooms or units available during the reporting period. It represents the utilization rate of the sample reporting at time of publication. Occupancy levels are subject to revision pending further reporting by the province’s accommodation operators.
Provincial Tourism Performance 2013
From the Regions
Submitted by: Andrew Hiscock Tourism Development Officer Legendary Coasts of Eastern Newfoundland
Wild About Tourism
Legendary Coasts of Eastern Newfoundland is prepping for a busy season with its members. On June 3 and 4, we held our 3rd Annual Visitor Experience Retreat at The Wild’s Golf Resort, and it was massively successful! It was the largest group of participants ever, and our presenters were top notch. This annual event is designed for frontline staff and employers, providing them with the tools and perspective to position their roles and the businesses they operate and work for into the bigger picture of the visitor experience and the Newfoundland and Labrador Brand. A big thank you to Carol-Ann Gilliard and Craig Foley of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, Andrea Peddle and Trudy Winter of the Department of Tourism Culture, and Recreation, Nancy Brace of the Restaurant Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, Rick Stanley of Ocean Quest, Michelle PenneyRowe and Rosemary Byrne of The Avalon
Participants, presenters, and Legendary Coasts Staff at the 3rd Annual Quality Service Retreat at the Wilds, June 3-4, 2014.
Artists Group, Roger Dewling of St. Jude Hotel and Feast Catering, and our own chair, Marieke Gow of Artisan Inn and Twine Loft, for their fantastic presentations and workshops. We would also like to acknowledge the tireless work and amazing partnership with Mary Byrne and the Bonavista Institute of Cultural Tourism, who helped design, implement, and facilitate the two day retreat! The event is supported through the Workplace Skills and Enhancement Program of Innovation Business and Rural Development. This has been just a small part of our work load, and to ensure we provide the best services to our members, our staff has doubled! In March, we hired Pauline Masters as our Administrative Assistant, and Pauline Yetman as our Member Services Coordinator. “The Two Paulines” as we’ve begun to call them, have been invaluable additions to our team – our membership has grown faster than ever before and our members have never been
so engaged! In addition, Jill Barrett, who helped us on the Destination Development Plan last year, will be returning for her second summer with the organization as Social Media Officer! This will be an incredibly busy year for us. The Destination Development Plan Final Report will be released shortly and together with industry we will begin an Opportunities Management process of prioritization and implementation. We are scheduled to have our most successful year for media and travel trade familiarization tours. And we are about to launch a new partnership with Eastlink TV as the title sponsors for their popular Discover NL television program – an opportunity that will feature our members! We are preparing for a busy Fall with our 4th AGM and we’ll be on the road delivering our tourism seminars and networking sessions. We look forward to engaging with you. Wishing you all a successful tourism season.
advisory group has been assembled to keep a close eye on the proceedings throughout. A total of six staging sessions were held on the ground in April to launch the project and create additional awareness of the associated processes and desired outcomes. These sessions took place in Port aux Basques, Stephenville, Steady Brook, Rocky Harbour, St. Barbe and St. Anthony with over 125 stakeholders in attendance overall. The Western Destination Management Organization (WDMO, aka. Go Western Newfoundland) was delighted to be joined
by the provincial Tourism Board Chair – Mr. Barry Rogers (Iceberg Quest) among a number of other partner representatives. Mr. Rogers underlined the importance of the process, of the resultant plan and of the implementation process once completed. He spoke of increased collaboration and gave examples of successes in other regions and offered a good dose of encouragement to all who dare step up to the destination development plate in the coming years. In addition to this immediate feedback, a webinar was administered and online surveys were gathered for those not able to attend sessions in person. Stakeholders will be asked to join us again in October 2014 when early findings are discussed during the important validation phase of the process. In the meantime, a primary and secondary data collection team is lending additional credence to the visitor appeal assessment in the Western Newfoundland region. In short, we’re appealing to the region to not only take stock of its visitor appeal, but to determine a course of action to enhance it.
Submitted by: Mark Lamswood Executive Director Go Western Newfoundland
Western Newfoundland’s Appeal to Appeal!
A provincial-scale (delivered through each of the regions) destination development planning process is well underway. That process has arrived in full swing here in Western Newfoundland and has been welcomed with open arms by our stakeholders. Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador have taken on the role of project proponent and have been diligent in working closely with the Tourism Board, the respective Destination Management Organizations, ACOA, IBRD and TCR. Each of the DMOs have been tasked with making sure stakeholders in their regions are well informed, engaged and feed into the Tourism Destination Visitor Appeal Process (TDVAA). Already, a Western Newfoundland
Submitted by: Randy Letto Executive Director Destination Labrador
The New Face of Tourism
The Labrador visitor economy is changing and with it a new tourism industry is emerging. Non-traditional stakeholders are asserting their presence in the industry. In Nunatsiavut a new story is being told for those who journey north in search of the adventures and mysteries of the Labrador Inuit. The new Trans Labrador Highway offers an alternative access route to the province and reshaping the travellers journey to Labrador. Traditional iconic assets like Red Bay Basque Whaling Station are designing new
visitor experiences in keeping with its recent UNESCO designation. Local tourism operators and entrepreneurs are embracing this change and helping to transform Labrador’s presence in the provincial tourism industry. So here it is, I find myself reflecting on the past 6 months of a significant new project here in Labrador. The Labrador Tourism Destination Visitor Appeal Appraisal is wrapping up with the final draft presentation to the Project Advisory Committee comprised of Labrador industry leaders and champions. A new path forward is coming into focus. A new face for tourism is taking shape. Across Labrador new products are entering the market. Along the Labrador Coastal Drive new products are being introduced while traditional offers are being enhanced at Battle Harbour. In Red Bay a new annual Basque festival is being championed by Parks Canada and the community stakeholders. At Point Amour a new private-public partnership is at the root of new onsite products and services.
Tour operators Experience Labrador and Tour Labrador are both introducing new experiences like the ‘Artist Camp’ and tour packages like the ‘Cross Boarder - Land and Water’. And in Nunatsiavut the new ‘Cruise Labrador’s North’ tour program is another example of bold new collaborations of choice for what is becoming the new face of tourism in Labrador. To realize a new vision in any industry, all stakeholders must accept that change is a positive step towards new outcomes and while there is risk, the rewards are greater. For some stakeholders the face of change is a new strategic plan forward and for other entrepreneurial minds it will be creating new products and services. In either case, to affect change, in most cases it involves innovation, new partnerships and alliances rooted in collaborations of choice. To rely solely on existing partnerships and strategies is not an option. As leaders we must celebrate those taking the risk and support the strategy for a new kind of tourism.
Submitted by: Janice Goudie Manager of Travel Trade & Media Relations Adventure Central Newfoundland
Media, Marketing and You
Tourism operators in Central are a little more media savvy these days, thanks in part to two recent workshops offered by Adventure Central Newfoundland. In an effort to better utilize the time of both operators and journalists during press trips to the area, Adventure Central hired consultant Liz Fleming, editor-in-chief of Cruise and Travel Lifestyles Magazine, to speak with operators on how to make the media work for them.
Submitted by: Rhonda Hutton Director of Marketing Destination St. John’s
CEM and CASL. Acronyms you need to know.
On July 1, 2014 Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) takes effect. What does this mean for your business? How will it impact your sales efforts? And if you are not compliant
The focus of Liz’s presentations were to highlight some common behaviors of travel writers, what it is they often are looking for when speaking to an operator, and how to make the most of everyone’s time when the press are visiting an establishment. “It was important for us to give operators a better understanding on how to best sell themselves when media comes to visit,” explains Janice Goudie, manager of travel trade and media relations with Adventure Central. “Sometimes we get bogged down with details that aren’t necessarily pertinent to travel writers, and this was just another way to arm operators with
Adventure Central Newfoundland celebrated its 6th Annual General Meeting on June 10 at Hotel Gander, Gander. Some 47 people were in attendance for the event, which included the election of four sectoral seats and two vacant seats on Adventure Central’s board of directors. The following Adventure Central members were elected to the board: • Accommodations (for-profit): Peggy Hamilton, Mount Peyton Hotel • Outdoor Tour Operator (for-profit): Paul Rose, Riverfront Chalets • Cultural Heritage & Visitor Attractions (forprofit): David Hayashida, King’s Point Pottery • Director (non-profit): Yvette Mahaney, Beaches Arts & Heritage Centre • Geographic - Coast of Bays (for-profit): Colleen Lambert, Miawpukek First Nation • Geographic – Emerald (for-profit): Not filled
what are the penalties and fees? This is not a sexy tourism tidbit I would like to be sharing in this space but a necessary one all the same. The CASL applies to any commercial electronic message (CEM). If you use email, text messaging or direct messaging in social networks to sell your services or products then this legislation will affect how you solicit business. The crux of the legislation is that you must have the recipients consent to receive communication electronically. There are two types of consent. Explicit and implied. This space does not allow delving into these definitions but I refer you to www. fightspam.gc.ca for more information, as the nuances are important. I’m not a lawyer but I think there is enough “grey” language there to
keep litigators busy for some time. In addition to consent there are rules about messaging. The content must include the name, physical address of the organization, phone numbers and website address. Subject lines must be representative of the content. If you got this far through this riveting commentary, please keep reading as you will learn the consequences of not complying. For sending one unsolicited communication you can face a $200 fine per message, up to $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses. The CRTC is going to police this. July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2017 violators will only be subject to fines. After July 1, 2017 violators could face civil action in court. Please be prepared.
Liz Fleming, editor-in-chief of Cruise and Travel Lifestyles Magazine, speaks to a group of Central operators on how to best utilize the travel media.
some techniques to best utilize the time of everyone involved in a press trip.”
New Members Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is thrilled to welcome the following new members to our tourism network: 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.
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Norris Arm Heritage Association Inc. 202 Citizens Drive P.O. Box 89 Norris Arm, NL A0G 3M0 Contact Name: Sheldon Kirby (709) 653-2603 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fortune Head Interpretation Centre 49-51 Bunkerhill Road P.O. Box 159 Fortune, NL A0E 1P0 Contact Name: Linda Collier (709) 832-2810 email@example.com
Cape Race Cultural Adventures P.O. Box 262 Heart’s Delight, NL A0B 2A0 Contact Name: Ken Sooley (709) 237-3698 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.caperace.com
Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s 1119 Thorburn Road Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, NL A1M 1T6 Contact Name: Dawn Sharpe (709) 895-8000 email@example.com http://www.pcsp.ca
Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium P.O. Box 417 35 Southside Road Petty Harbour, NL A0A 3H0 Contact Name: Keith Moore (709) 730-3507 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.miniaqua.org
The Manuels River Experience 7 Conception Bay Highway CBS, NL A1W 3A2 Contact Name: Michael Mooney (709) 834-2099 Michael.Mooney@manuelsriver.com http://manuelsriver.com
Crossroads Motel & Lounge 980 Kenmount Road Paradise, NL A1L 1N2 Contact Name: Ed Churchill (709) 368-3191 email@example.com http://www.crossroadsmotelnl.com/ crossroads-motel-trailer-park.html Garden Hill Inn 2 Ford’s Road Corner Brook, NL A2H 1S6 Contact Name: Carrie and Bill Dennis 1-888-634-1150 firstname.lastname@example.org
Eastbound International Speeding & Concert Park 500 Mill Road P.O. Box 8036, Stn. A Avondale, NL A1B 3M7 Contact Name: Sarah Squires 1-800-613-9709 email@example.com http://www.eastboundpark.com/ French Shore Historical Society P.O. Box 29 Conche, NL A0K 1Y0 Contact Name: Joan Simmonds (709) 622-3500 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.frenchshore.com/en/welcome.htm
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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 www.hnl.ca
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2014 SILVER ANNIVERSARY SCHOLARSHIP Applications now being accepted Presented annually to two deserving students, the Scholarship was established to assist recipients with their pursuit of post-secondary education. Proudly supported by the BOONE FAMILY and
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the SPARKES FAMILY, two scholarships in the amount of $1,500.00 each are available for the academic year beginning September 2014.
APPLICATION PROCESS Deadline for applications is Friday, August 8, 2014. For full application details and criteria, please visit: www.hnl.ca/membership/membership-benefits/silver-anniversary-scholarship.