Tourism Times - Winter 2014

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Newsletter of the Tourism Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador


Winter 2014

Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism Leaders Celebrate the Induction of Barb Genge, Tuckamore Lodge, into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame

Barb was inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) annual conference in Ottawa. At the induction ceremony, Barb was joined by tourism industry leaders from this province. From left to right: Roger Jamieson, Kilmory Resort and outgoing TIAC Board member; Stan Cook Jr., Stan Cook Sea Kayak Adventures and TIAC Former Chair; Darlene Thomas, Seaside Suites and Hospitality NL Chair; The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Member of Parliament, Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte; Barb Genge, 2013 Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame Inductee; Carol-Ann Gilliard, Hospitality NL CEO; Barry Rogers, Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours and NL Tourism Board Chair; Cathy Duke, Destination St. John’s CEO and Incoming TIAC Board member.

Know your Value “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.” —Thomas Paine

Carol-Ann Gilliard CEO, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador

Just like beauty, value truly is in the eye of the beholder. Despite the pressure that society may exert to artificially inflate or deflate something’s value, your interests, beliefs, needs, experiences and a whole host of other factors ultimately determine what

Winter 2014

you hold in high or low esteem in your life. Simply put, value is “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something”. If something comes too easily, it is human nature to give it a lesser value. The converse, if something requires hard work or a high price to achieve or obtain, we value it so much more. I guess this is why I place such high value on tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador. To this humble beholder, tourism is the most precious beauty we have in our province. Where we are in tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador has not come easily, but then, no place has ever had an easy ride with its tourism development, if they try to do it right. By its very nature of being so inextricably embedded in the roots of communities and governed by diverse stakeholder groups in diverse environments, tourism requires more hard work, more collaboration and more problem-solving efforts than many other business sectors. It is incredibly hard to become a successful and sustainable tourism destination, so when it happens, it is much more valuable. The prize of a successful tourism industry is not the end game, but rather the journey. Luckily, in any long journey, there are markers along the way that help us gauge if we are on the right path, if we are adding value, and if we need to change course. For us, there have been many milestones on our journey since 2009 when we launched the collective vision to achieve our Uncommon Potential for tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador. Achieving a billion dollars in tourism spending for the first time ever in 2011 is one of those markers. Maintaining a healthy 8% of provincial jobs and contributing consistently to meaningful rural employment opportunities is another. Growing a strong and solid network of tourism leaders and entrepreneurs throughout the province, who are focused on the same vision, strategy and action plan is another. Being commended by peers throughout the country for our innovative, professional and strategic approach to tourism development is yet another…being referred to as the “poster child for tourism in Canada” never gets old. All of these things help define our value and I have seen a measureable change in not only how people outside of our industry value tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador but also in how much value we


place on ourselves as the individuals who are driving the development of this dynamic, vibrant industry. We are proud to be innovators of business in our province, proud to be an industry that contributes greatly to sustaining the rural areas of our province and proud to be an industry that adds significant economic, social and environmental value to our place and our people. Now that we have our first big taste of what tourism can become, as gauged by the markers on our path, I feel a new wave of momentum that will push us even closer to our goals. Make no mistake, the value we can achieve for Newfoundland and Labrador will not be served up to us on a platter…after all, not all beholders see the beauty of tourism the way we do. But I am terribly hopeful that upon catching a glimpse of what is possible, we are all energized to give that extra push to work harder and longer to stay the course on our journey. The more we value ourselves and reflect that value in the decisions we make and steps we take, the more others will perceive our higher value. The value of tourism that we are enjoying today is a direct result of heroes in our industry who have given selflessly to lead, direct, support and build a vision for the future. In the fifteen years that I have devoted to tourism, I have seen the value that these heroes hold and the impact that they have made in creating value for all of us. You know who you are, all of you. Be proud of what you have done to raise the collective value of our industry. As we say goodbye to our most recent leader, Darlene Thomas, who has served as our Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador Chair for the past two years, I am struck that, instead of feeling great relief that her phase of wickedly hard work and commitment to the association is coming to a close, she is contemplative of how she could have done more and served longer. I think this is a reflection of the type of leaders we attract in tourism…hard working, driven, devoted, passionate and innovative. We seldom celebrate our successes and find greater value in looking beyond the achievements to what still needs to be done. In my mind, this is the most admirable trait that a leader can have. What a rare breed of leaders we have in tourism! Thank you, Darlene. I am thrilled that Darlene will pass the Chair’s baton to another admirable leader, Rex Avery, who understands the concept of value just about better than anyone I know! He will be a tremendous leader for our association, who has already devoted a decade to advancing the goals of our provincial industry and who contributes value daily to our collective vision and efforts. “It is dearness only that gives everything its value.” Tourism is the platform on which we celebrate our pride and share the story of this rare and spectacular part of the world that we are privileged to call home. Newfoundland and Labrador is very dear to our hearts and no matter where we go in the world, there is always a longing to be back home. I don’t know if there is another place out there builds such an attachment to place or breeds people of such colorful character! What we have here is a thing of beauty and knowing our value is the foundation of success in all of our future endeavors.

High Five Moments with tourism operators across NL, the people behind the billion dollar milestone. What I have learned from these individuals is invaluable and will help guide me and the future growth of my business. My time as Chair, unfortunately, did not feature solely ‘high five’ moments. There are very real and significant challenges facing us. I’ve said before I’m a glass half full person and do not wish to dwell on the negative but I would like to say that working with diverse tourism stakeholders and groups, and witnessing their determination to overcome challenges, has been inspiring. The results: our industry is the envy of the country, we have strong employment in our sector, we have been witnessing new investment from tourism operations across the province, and we have committed to elevating the quality of the tourism industry through the Tourism Assurance Plan and the Destination Development Plan. We must continue to work together and strive for excellence; I have a glass half full attitude but we must strive for the full pint! Hospitality NL, the Tourism Board and the regional DMOs are committed to advancing our industry and work diligently on your behalf. There is a plan, there is a Vision, and we will be successful; however, we all need to continue to work together. It is the only way we can compete globally and share success, long-term sustainability and profitability for years to come. Moving forward, I will continue to lend my voice and be counted among the surging tourism network focused towards our Vision and beyond. Overall, I leave my role as Chair feeling grateful for the opportunities provided to me during my years serving as a Board member. From webinars to networking with members, the advice, stories, knowledge and lessons shared with me by tourism operators across NL have strengthened my belief and passion for our industry and have helped shape my future role to play within it. As I transition from Chair back to a member of the Hospitality NL network, I plan to do so with a focus and energy that is a direct result of my experiences serving as a Board member. Our province, our people and our industry are truly special and hold limitless potential to transform our economy and enhance our lives. The people I’ve met, the partners I have had the pleasure to work with and the places I have had the opportunity to visit have been nothing short of remarkable. The resolve of the tourism industry to conquer challenges is tenable and will ensure success along the road leading to Vision 2020. I have truly enjoyed this experience and on one level, my parting words are “I Don’t Want To Go!” But I believe change is good. And I know Incoming Chair, Rex Avery will work to change things for the betterment of our industry. So my final parting words are simply thank you. I was the recipient of nothing but support and encouragement as I served on the Board of Hospitality NL and I am truly thankful for the opportunity. Thank you for your confidence in me, your collaboration with Hospitality NL and most importantly, your belief in our industry and your efforts to see tourism in NL realize its true potential. Cheers!

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This is my last Chair’s message to you, so how do I start to summarize these past ‘oh so quick’ two years at the helm? Perhaps by saying I gave it my all and it has been, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career! In late 2011, I made the transition from Director at Large to the Chair position. I am a quiet leader, a confident entrepreneur, have been for many years, still, I Darlene Thomas must acknowledge that the Chair, Hospitality Newfoundland thought of moving into the and Labrador Chair position at Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador was a big step. As I put myself forward to take on the role, I had the full support of our Board of Directors and I am truly grateful for it. Stepping into the Chair position, I also knew that we have a talented and dedicated staff at Hospitality NL who would do anything for our members and it gave me a great sense of comfort as the new Chair. We also have, and continue to have, a strong and committed Board of Directors. While they draw on their broad wealth of experience from their own businesses, they leave that hat at the door and bring a province-wide viewpoint to the table to advance this industry and overcome its challenges for the greater good of tourism in NL. The reason I first joined Hospitality NL’s Board of Directors was my passion for tourism and the potential it holds to grow our economy and enhance life for residents. One of my first tests to share that passion and message was the Awards Gala during the 2012 Conference. I remember looking out from the podium and being struck by the diversity among the audience, yet at the same time, it became perfectly clear to me that these people all shared my passion for tourism. I then realized one of my key roles for the next two years was not to share my passion with them, but to share our passion with anyone and everyone who would listen to me! As time went on, I was presented with opportunities to represent the interests of Hospitality NL members and on occasion, the tourism industry at large. There were by far more high points than low over the past couple of years: forging new partnerships with regional Destination Management Organizations, hearing that Newfoundland and Labrador is considered the poster child for tourism in Canada, acknowledging and celebrating the ingenuity and innovation of local tourism operations, media interviews during Tourism Week touting our industry achievements, and even a cameo appearance in an 80s music video! The list could go on and on and certainly one of my favorite, and proudest moments as Chair was the announcement that our industry is indeed an industry that generates a billion dollars annually! But I think the part I enjoyed most as Chair was the opportunity to meet and talk



BARB GENGE Barb Genge, President of Tuckamore Lodge in Main Brook, NL, is one of three inductees into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame for 2013. Created in 2006 by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame publicly recognizes those individuals that have made tourism an important part of their life’s work and whose actions have had a positive impact on the industry they serve. Members of the Hall of Fame have helped to shape our sector as a vibrant contributor to our economy and position Canada as a welcoming destination. You are obviously passionate about your work. Where does your passion for the tourism industry come from? Earlier in my career, I worked in economic development and began to see so many opportunities throughout NL to stay here and make a good living. Government had started investing in tourism and since I was a little kid, I have been an outdoors person so I figured Tourism was the best fit for me! You have been very successful and acclaimed for your efforts in an industry that is traditionally male-dominated (outfitting). What advice or lessons learned would you share with other female entrepreneurs? If you have a desire to work at something that you love, then take that path. No matter what you choose to do, the road will be difficult. Never let anyone tell you that something cannot be done: if you can see it, you can do it. How did you develop the idea to combine a four-star luxury lodge with the more rugged hunting and fishing aspects of your tourism business? I travelled and saw what people paid in other places or countries and I thought if I paid to do that there, why wouldn’t I pay to do it in NL? After all, Newfoundland is one of God’s Masterpieces. I, like many Newfoundlanders, went to Ontario for employment when I finished school. I visited Marineland in Niagara Falls to see whales swim around in a tank and do tricks. I think at that time (1967) it cost me $20. The whole time I kept thinking about the whales I saw in the Straits at home, swimming free in the ocean. I thought that if I ever got back to NL, I would do something that incorporates whales. They feed themselves, play without a trainer and perform wonderful acts – all you have to pay for is the opportunity to get up close.

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I also enjoy comfort when I go on adventures (although I prefer a tent in the woods) and wanted to build a beautiful lodge to attract not only the men, who enjoyed outfitting, but also their families. So that’s what I did. My Dad was a great inspiration: he always wanted the best of everything…maybe the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!


Through the years, you have been awarded for your commitment to sustainable development practices including receiving the Sustainable Tourism Award presented by Hospitality NL and Parks Canada. What must the tourism industry do to ensure the long-term sustainability and protection of our natural surroundings? Listen to the local people. If we are going to live here and love and promote what we have, we must protect it. Education is one of our best tools for sustainable development. For example, I feel we have not done enough in our schools to teach children about the importance of our natural systems, such as bogs. Sometimes it can be difficult for people to fully understand their impact on the environment. I’ve done many river clean ups, and it was difficult to clean the mess left by our own people.

Barb Genge

After hearing some of the older men from our local communities tell me about the plight of the Eider Duck population in Hare Bay, I took on that challenge because I cared. I had a lot to learn but the desire to bring something back that was near extinction in a Sanctuary would mean a lot to my business and to me as a person. It is much more difficult to get something back to where it was than it is to take care of it when you have it – the Cod Fishery is a prime example. While many folks didn’t agree with me as I lobbied for changes to the opening of the hunting season in order to give the animals a chance, I had no problem living with what I was doing because I believed in it. People from all over the world bought into this project. Many businesses like mine depend solely on our environment so how it is managed is of extreme importance to me and to many. What does being inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame mean to you? That what I did was accepted as worthy by my peers.

Tuckamore Lodge property in Main Brook, NL.

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador Welcomes Lynn Taylor to the Role of Manager, NL Tourism Board

NL Tourism Board Chair, Barry Rogers and NL Tourism Board Manager, Lynn Taylor at Lynn’s first Board meeting in her new position.

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador congratulates Lynn Taylor on her appointment to the role of Manager of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board. The NL Tourism Board is a private-public partnership created in 2009 to advise on the implementation of Uncommon Potential: A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism (Vision 2020). Lynn’s background includes extensive experience in non-profit Board governance and leadership as well as project management, policy development and planning. Having held senior management positions, most recently as Manager of Policy and Communications with Hospitality NL, she is an ideal choice to help guide and monitor the directives and initiatives of the Board. Vision 2020 establishes a number of priorities and broad actions to guide the development of Newfoundland and Labrador’s tourism industry over the next decade towards the goal of doubling annual tourism revenues. As the Tourism Board works towards the industry goal of generating $1.6 billion in annual tourism spending by 2020, the Tourism Board Manager will play a key role in ensuring the Board stays true to its course. Welcome Lynn!

For more information on the NL Tourism Board or Vision 2020, visit AIR MILES Reward Program or contact Lynn Taylor at C hoose or (709) 722-2000 ext. 227.

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Performance and Profitability improve through training

UPSKILL ESSENTIALS TO EXCEL Over the last 24 months, 12 hotels in Newfoundland and Labrador participated in UPSKILL, a Pan-Canadian research project undertaken by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) in partnership with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC) and Hospitality NL. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the hotels’ management and employees for their contribution to this groundbreaking research. UPSKILL, funded by the Federal Government of Canada, is one of the first studies of its kind to rigorously measure the impacts of workplace training through a randomized-control trial (RCT). It is also innovative in its use of objective measures of skills and performance through industrysanctioned assessments, in conjunction with a benefit-cost analysis to measure return on investment (ROI).

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The final results of the research will be released at the Hospitality NL Conference and Trade Show taking place in Gander, February 2014. Early indications are that measured against a control group, there are substantial positive impacts of UPSKILL training on a range of skills and performance areas including:


• Large improvements in oral communication and how effectively employees engage with guests, particularly, among housekeeping room attendants. • Significant improvements in document use and numeracy skills with associated reductions in errors in provision of guest services. • Gains in a range of other areas related to both revenues and costs including productivity, health and safety, and worker retention. • Overall, when measured against a control group, approximately 20% more participants are successfully passing the emerit® certificationlevel performance assessment component following training. Participants’ views on UPSKILL training are also overwhelmingly favourable; over 95% would recommend the training and agree that it will help them do their jobs better. Results from employer surveys also indicate there are tangible improvements in a range of business outcomes. The full benefit-cost analysis will be available soon and will provide not only estimates of ROI but an indication of how returns from training investments vary and can be maximized.

For more information on the research and its results, contact Juanita Ford at or 709-722-2000 ext 226.

This year, Hospitality NL is proud to have reached the milestone achievement of certifying the 550th tourism professional in NL! Congratulations to the following recently emerit certified professionals! St. Jude Hotel Yvonne Melanson

Front Desk Agent

Frank Baggs

Line Cook

Corina Clarke

Housekeeping Room Attendant

Glenda Ellis

Housekeeping Room Attendant

Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Centre Susan Taylor

Front Desk Agent

Hotel Marystown Daphne Drake

Housekeeping Room Attendant

St. Christopher’s Hotel Susan Tapp


Wanda-Lee Pike

Supervisor & Front Desk Agent

Denise Lomond


Pippy Park Commission Leann Northcott


Comfort Inn Airport, St. John’s Tonia Walsh

Event Coordinator

Kim Mills


Linda Hollett

Front Desk Agent

Terry Walsh

Supervisor For more information on emerit certification contact Juanita Ford at or 709-722-2000 ext 226.

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DIGITAL! “The times they are a-changin!” Since the start of the new millennium, traditional communication formats have been revolutionized by an explosion of digital media offerings which help tourism businesses stay up-to-date on daily happenings across the globe. Through use of the internet and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, digital communications have changed the landscape, and way of business, for many tourism operations. In keeping with Hospitality NL’s goals of adopting innovative technology and protecting the environment through green business practices, Hospitality NL has decided to take Tourism Times digital! By offering a digital only Tourism Times, Hospitality NL will reduce excess waste while simultaneously spreading the news of NL’s tourism industry in a convenient and timely fashion.

If you are not a member of Hospitality NL and wish to continue receiving Tourism Times, please send a confirmatory email to This action will ensure that you continue to receive Tourism Times and remain connected with Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador. For more information, please contact Hospitality NL’s Manager of Policy and Communications, Leslie Rossiter at (709) 722-2000 ext. 222 or

Winter 2014

emerit Training Solutions offers skills training and professional certification for tourism and hospitality occupations. With everything from occupational standards to online learning, emerit has a training option to meet your needs. In NL, Hospitality NL is the certifying body for emerit.

is going


Workforce Development


SPEAKERS Hospitality NL is bringing an exciting line-up of speakers and guest panelists to the 2014 Conference and Trade Show! Keynote speaker, Alan Doyle, will energize delegates by sharing his passion for the people, place and culture of NL on Thursday morning.


On the heels of a highly successful 30th anniversary Conference in 2013, Hospitality NL’s Board and staff are preparing to one-up themselves in Gander this year! With a line-up of speakers, guest panelists and trade show exhibitors all eager to help tourism businesses grow, the 2014 Conference is a ‘must attend’ event! As the largest gathering of tourism stakeholders in the province with more than 375 delegates from 150 different companies and over 40 Trade Show exhibitors, the networking, business and learning opportunities are endless!

Hospitality NL is excited to present Alan Doyle as Keynote Speaker for the 2014 Conference and Trade Show!

Hospitality NL is pleased to have the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of NL, address delegates at the Provincial Tourism Luncheon.

David Gyarmati, Research Director with SRDC, will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Labour Market Panel.

Richard Innes, President of Brain Trust Marketing & Communications, will provide insight on destination development.

Andrew Wiens, International DMO Manager for TripAdvisor, will share strategies on how to best manage online reputations and avoid common pitfalls.

Register online today for Hospitality NL’s Annual Conference and Trade Show at

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For more information on Hospitality NL’s 2014 Conference and Trade Show, please contact Hospitality NL at 1-800-563-0700 or



Speakers and panelists will provide delegates with the benefit of their knowledge and experience in sessions throughout the Conference. The Trade Show will be in full swing from Wednesday to Friday with more than 40 exhibitor booths to explore and the Gander Host Committee is planning a night of great entertainment for Thursday Fun Night!

Ending the Conference and Trade Show on Friday evening is the Tourism Excellence Awards Gala where delegates celebrate and honour the tourism industry’s best and brightest with Tourism Excellence Awards!

Delegates mingle during the Opening Ceremonies at Hospitality NL’s 2012 Conference and Trade Show in Gander. Hospitality NL Chair, Darlene Thomas, presents the 2013 Corporate Partner of the Year award to Gander International Airport Authority.

2012 Trade Show in Gander.

Delegates enjoy the 2013 Tourism Excellence Awards Gala.

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Delegates enjoy the Official Kick-Off at the 2013 Conference and Trade Show.


Industry Driven, Industry Led Submitted by: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board As the new Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board, I am pleased to boast on the progress that has been made this year on our way to 2020! In a true team effort, my partners on the Tourism Board continue to work closely, efficiently and with motivation that will help re-shape the industry. In 2011, the tourism industry became one that generates $1 billion dollars annually. This is no small feat for an industry Barry Rogers that is comprised of over 2500 businesses throughout the province ranging from sole proprietors to multifaceted operations. It is the mandate of the NL Tourism Board to take a collaborative approach to improving the tourism environment in Newfoundland and Labrador so that each of these 2500 businesses have the opportunity to thrive. While industry and government sit around the Tourism Board table to determine how to tackle the strategic directions of the Vision, it is a true partnership where we make collective decisions. Our government partners have a critical role to play, as product development, visitor services, policy and marketing will serve as the corner stone around which a successful tourism industry can be built. As a collective, the Board knows that industry is the pivotal key to our success. We know that small businesses that invest their own time, energy and money to bring the culture and character of our story as a destination alive will ultimately determine if tourism will thrive in this province. I have only recently begun my work with the Tourism Board and as an entrepreneur that has invested a great deal of time and money into developing my tourism businesses, I am delighted to see the impact that industry is having in this process. Perhaps like many, I know that the goals outlined in the Vision are lofty and it will be important for industry to lead the process. What I’ve come to realize is that industry is leading and the communication between all partners is better than ever. We are tremendously fortunate that as an industry we have developed great working relationships with government partners that are willing to listen and are able to bring the tourism industry’s priorities to provincial initiatives, investment decisions and policy development. This is a unique situation and one that will serve our province well as we create a better place to live, work and do business. Since becoming involved with the Tourism Board, I can stand proudly and say that the direction of tourism in this province is industry driven and industry led. I am a seaman at heart, so I say, from one industry member to another; I urge you, don’t miss the boat. Get on board and be part of our collective solution, because when this ship sails, she’s gone and I for one would not want to be left in the wake of all the great things in this bucket list destination of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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See you on the next tide,


Tourism Assurance Plan-Deadlines Approaching

Partners of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board have begun the implementation process for the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Assurance Plan (TAP). TAP involves five common minimum standards that are aimed at promoting tourism organizations that provide quality travel experiences and assist tourism services and attractions improve the way they operate. 1. The ability to communicate and receive messages from customers by telephone, email and an online presence; and at a minimum, accept credit and/or debit card payment and respond to inquiries on a daily basis. 2. Possess and maintain valid licenses, permits and all other regulatory requirements to operate. 3. Maintain current and sufficient levels of liability insurance. Proof of insurance to be provided upon request. 4. Must deliver actual experiences or services being promoted and/or offered to the consumer. 5. Must be in good standing with Tourism Assurance Plan’s complaints procedure. All tourism services and attractions must meet the TAP standards by May 31, 2014. Operators in the outfitting sector must meet the TAP standards by December 31, 2014. Operators that are not compliant by their specified deadline date will not be eligible to participate in 2015 provincial marketing and promotions or membership and/or partnership opportunities with Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador and/or the provincial Destination Management Organizations (DMOs). Operators are encouraged to contact Hospitality NL or their DMO for further direction.

Destination Development Planning Begins in Labrador

As the Destination Development process wraps up in the Eastern region, the process will begin in Labrador. A series of public consultation sessions were recently held in L’Anse au Claire, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Nain where participants were provided with the opportunity to participate in the Destination Development process. The collection of data and research is currently ongoing and will help shape the Destination Development Plan for the Labrador region after which, early observations and findings will be presented to industry for final input.

NL Tourism Board welcomes two new industry representatives

The NL Tourism Board welcomed two new Board members, Todd Wight and Marieke Gow, in November 2013. Todd Wight is the General Manager of the Ocean View Hotel in Rocky Harbour, NL and sits on the Board of Directors for Go Western. Todd was appointed to represent Go Western on the NL Tourism Board by the Go Western Board of Directors. Marieke Gow is the Manager and Sommelier at the Artisan Inn and Twine Loft Restaurant in Trinity, NL and was recently appointed Chair of the Eastern Destination Management Organization. Todd and Marieke bring a great deal of industry experience and knowledge that will add tremendously to the initiatives of the NL Tourism Board.

Research Corner Submitted by: The Tourism Research Division of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation

Roofed Accommodation Trends in Newfoundland and Labrador There is no doubt that accommodations is one of the most significant aspects of any travel experience – regardless of how long a stay at a certain establishment, the experience has the potential to make or break a trip. Whether a budget traveller or luxury seeker, where we put our heads at the end of a busy travel day is one of the most important travel decisions. The Canadian accommodations sector has recovered well after the recession, with occupancy levels, average daily room rates (ADR) and revenues per available room (RevPAR) catching up to and starting to exceed pre-recession levels in 20121. Increased demand for paid accommodations among travellers has also left its marks on the province: the recent Exit Survey found that the share of nights spent in all paid accommodations by non-residents grew from 45% in 2004 to 52% in 2011 while the share of nights in paid roofed accommodations2 increased from 35% to 40% over the same period. Whereas $29 out every $100 spent in the province by non-residents accounted for accommodations in 2004, this amount grew to $36 in 2011. Demand is also stimulated by residents, 49% of whom use roofed accommodations when travelling in the province3.

2008, representing an 8.6% increase in rooms sold, from 1.24 million in 2008 to 1.35 million in 2012. During the 2008-2012 period, the province also experienced significant ADR increases. The provincial ADR stood at $106 in 2008, rising to $121 in 2012. This represents a 14% increase over the five-year period, with increases accelerating particularly in 2011 and 2012 to 4% and 5% year-over-year respectively. ADRs vary across regions and increased at differing rates (see Chart 2). Chart 2: 2008-2012 Average Daily Rates by Region

Over the past five years, the province as a whole, as well as almost all regions, have experienced an upward trend in occupancy rates (see Chart 1).

While Labrador led all regions with a 9.7 percentage point increase during the period (from 47.9% in 2008 to 57.6% in 2012), occupancy levels in the St. John’s area4 grew by 7.2 points to 70.7% in 2012. The Eastern and Avalon regions increased 3.1 and 3.9 points respectively, with the Western (-2.0 points) and Central (-1.2 points) regions experiencing decreases during this period. The rising demand in roofed accommodations is being met with new establishments and expanded properties throughout the entire province, resulting in a considerable rise in room supply. In 2012, nearly 96,000 more rooms were available than in 2008, representing an additional 262 rooms available per day throughout the province. In terms of room sales, the 2008-2012 period saw impressive growth: province-wide, nearly 300 more rooms per day were sold in 2012 than in

Hotel Industry Fact Sheet, Hotel Association of Canada 2 Paid roofed accommodations include hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, inns, commercial cottages/cabins 3 2010 Resident Travel Survey, Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation 4 St. John’s area represents Economic Zone 19 in this analysis 1

With room sales growth outpacing growth in room capacity, the ADR in Labrador was pushed to $116 in 2012, up from just under $97 in 2008 (+20.5%). Both the Western (+16.8%) and Central (+17.7%) regions experienced significant growth in ADRs, averaging an annual four-percent increase during the period, to $111 and $106 in 2012 respectively. At $134, the annual ADR in St. John’s topped $130 for the first time in 2012, up from $119 in 2008. As room sales continue to grow and new supply is coming into the market, campaigns to attract travellers’ dollars are likely to intensify. While a trend is emerging that travellers are willing to pay a little more and select lodging to treat themselves when on a trip, operators need to continue to be mindful of customers’ quests for value. For the post-recession traveller, quality is key and responses to the Exit Survey by visitors show that the province’s accommodators are very capable of delivering great experiences to their guests. Balancing good economic sense with the delivery of a personalized experience to meet customer expectations will be essential for continued success.

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Chart 1: 2008 – 2012 Occupancy Rates by Region


From The Regions Submitted by: Randy Letto Executive Director Destination Labrador

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

Labrador stakeholders attend a Destination Development Plan session in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Industry Leadership in Destination Development

Tourism operators in Labrador are mobilizing, engaging in conversation and investing their time with Destination Labrador (DL) and other Tourism Board partners and stakeholders. Their participation plays an important part in creating a new long-term Destination Development Plan focused on current and future tourism development opportunities. The process overall will identify a series of recommendations and action steps that will enable the Labrador tourism industry (not-for profit and for profit), in collaboration with Hospitality NL, Tourism Culture and Recreation and DL to create innovative, authentic and new tourism experiences and enhance existing tourism attractors and infrastructure. The last tourism destination plan for Labrador was completed in 2002 and a lot has changed in the past decade in Labrador; new and enhanced travel security measures, US/CDN currency parity, increased air-access and airport improvements, new smart technology, opening of the Trans Labrador Highway, new National Park, year-round ferry service, not to mention Labrador’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Red Bay. Every organization and business has a plan. Some plans are immediate and actionable with tangible indications of change while others are more strategic and represent long-term goals that require vision and patience. In every case the strength of the plan and the measurements of success are largely dependent on the level of input and participation of key stakeholder groups. Previous destination development models focused heavily on building and selling products and packages. Today, there is a major shift away from the traditional models to one centered around the needs of the visitor and what appeals to them when they travel. The Canadian Tourism Commission’s reference to this shift is best represented in the phrase “A product is what you buy. A tourism experience is what you remember”.

Winter 2014

The planning framework designed for this Destination Development Plan is rooted in the Visitor Appeal Appraisal. The appraisal will allow for a comprehensive review of all tourism operations in Labrador. For stakeholders, it’s a chance to rethink, retool and maximize opportunities going forward. As the planning unfolds and new business opportunities take root, leadership from within industry will be critical, both from the planning and delivery side of the overall path forward. To participate, contact Destination Labrador at Help us help you.


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

Heather MacDonald and Bonavista Institute for Cultural Tourism hosted a packed house at the Garrick Theatre.

Legendary Coasts’ Fall Tourism Seminar Series

This fall, the Legendary Coasts of Eastern Newfoundland had the pleasure to partner with Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador and the Bonavista Institute for Cultural Tourism to facilitate four seminars across the region. Each session was developed in consultation with tourism stakeholders, guaranteeing that content was catered to their specific needs. The seminars were combined with afternoon Tourism Assurance Plan sessions, providing valuable resources to operators in meeting the requirements of the Tourism Assurance Plan by May 2014. Of special note, with the help of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, we were able offer each session via webinar. Operators from around the region could attend all sessions from the comfort of their own business or home! The first two seminars were held in Cupids and Ferryland. Marsha Pond of Broad Reach Strategies Ltd. and Eva Gutsche of STEM Consulting facilitated the seminars providing great practical advice in creating partnerships and developing market ready experiences. The third session in Marystown focused on festivals and events coordination with guest speaker Shirley Montague, Director, Trails, Tales, and Tunes Festival. Shirley provided invaluable insight into the success of the West Coast event and shared best practices for the festival planning and coordination process. The series ended in Bonavista, with Heather MacDonald, consultant with BICT, who spoke to participants about culinary tourism development – a specialty of our partners at the Bonavista Institute for Cultural Tourism. Chef Chris Sheppard completed the day with a fantastic menu and extraordinary culinary lessons. The Legendary Coasts would like to thank all our expert facilitators for the amazing learning experience they provided for Legendary Coasts and Hospitality NL members. We’d also like to thank Hospitality NL and BICT for being excellent partners in the planning and execution of these events. To access the Fall Seminar presentations from all our facilitators, please visit the News section of This series helped our organization conclude the year on a very high point, and we look forward to serving our members and the tourism industry in 2014. We’d like to wish all tourism operators and stakeholders a prosperous new year! See you at Hospitality NL’s Annual Conference and Trade Show in Gander!

Turnips Matter

Have you noticed who the new star is in town? Television, books, magazines, and social media channels are all turning to the fascination with food: the cooking of it, the shopping for it, judging it, preparing it, securing it. Fiery Chefs are saving restaurants from peril, average Joes are fighting for the next golden apron and those with an inner Chef are buying up cooking books like never before. Pop culture has titled a person with an ardent interest in food and beverage, a foodie.

Submitted by: Mark Lamswood Executive Director Go Western Newfoundland

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

Visitor Appeal Appraisal ‘Goes Western’ Starting Winter 2014

For the eventual recommendations to be truly meaningful to the entire region however, the most important ingredient in this process will ultimately be the degree to which feedback and input is provided from the region, by the region, for the region – and by extension for the province as a whole. Go Western Newfoundland’s greatest responsibility will be to assist with the garnering of meaningful and honest input across a number of opportunities that will be made available to the region to participate (i.e. involvement in regional Advisory Committee roles, participation in public sessions throughout the region, webinar attendance, and other means of engagement). The four phases of 1. Project Staging, 2. Data Collection, 3. Consolidation and Validation, and 4. Reporting, Recommendation and Implementation will require the region to do some tourism industry destination development navel gazing that we have never before truly participated in to date on such a regional/provincial scale. Western Newfoundland will be the third in line among the five provincial regions to take their turn at the Destination Development plate. By the time we start, we will have benefitted from the engagement processes having played themselves out in the Eastern and Labrador areas. In addition to this, there will be Western representation on the Labrador advisory committee which will be reciprocated when the spotlight shines on Western Newfoundland recognizing the many unique, historical and emerging opportunities that exist in our adjacent regions when applying a visitor appeal lens.

Winners of the 2013 Bergy Awards

Adventure Central Names Bergy Award winners

Adventure Central Newfoundland announced the recipients of its second annual Bergy Awards during the organization’s 5th Annual General Meeting on November 19th in Grand Falls-Windsor. The Bergy Awards are designed to honor Central tourism operators in the areas of outstanding service, innovative product development, a commitment to cultural development, and being an outstanding tourism ambassador for Central Newfoundland. Innovator of the Year recognizes an individual or company that is doing things in a new way and is having a positive impact on the tourism industry in Central Newfoundland. With many worthy nominations, two festival organizers were presented with the Innovator of the Year award: Shaun Majumder and Friends for The Gathering and Destination Gander’s Quad-A-Palooza. The Digital Marketer award, designed to highlight a variety of achievements in marketing using technology, went to Twillingate Adventure Tours. As stated in their nomination: “Beyond a strong, functional app that draws upon the other product and partners in the area, they do a superb job with social media on both Facebook and Twitter. They make their Facebook page a celebration of whales and have a proven capacity to use both to provide the most recent information to prospective customers – sort of a digital whale spotter.” The Accommodator of the Year award is designed to recognize an individual or company in the accommodations sector who exhibits a dedication to quality service, a commitment to the tourism industry and displays such attributes as warmth, hospitality, personality, outstanding service and dedication. This year’s winner, Wayne and Ruth Hallett of The Prints of Whales Inn in Sandringham, clearly demonstrate all these characteristics and more.

While the process begins in the new year, the goal is to see reporting, recommendations, communications and task team implementation of desired outcomes to begin by the late Fall of 2014. Recognizing that all willing partners tied to any of these actionable recommendations will always have limitations on the resources employed, there will undoubtedly be some shorter-term (2 years) and longer-term (3+ years) priorities outlined in the documentation that will need to be carefully aligned across return on investment and opportunity management-like criteria. For more information on this process, please contact the Go Western Newfoundland office – we look forward to hosting the process and being involved in the implementation of these associated outcomes for destination development that will enhance our overall visitor appeal and translate into increased visitor and satisfaction levels.

Adventure Central’s Pinnacle Award: Tourism Ambassador of the Year recognizes an individual or organization who gives selflessly of their time and energy to champion the interests of this industry. This year’s recipient is Larry Whalen of the Outport Museum and Tea Room in La Scie.

So what does this have to do with tourism? Everything. The culinary experience in a destination has become a highlight in the travel experience. Because the natural food groups at hand are so different from one place to the next each destination has an opportunity to capitalize on a truly unique dining experience. Venison in Alberta. Moose in Newfoundland. A turnip you say is a turnip. Wrong. A turnip or rutabaga in Ontario is grown in different soil, different climate, different fertilizers, than the Newfoundland turnip, so it does taste different. And for someone that loves to dine and experience food, it matters. Local products sell, they are in your back yard, and travellers will eat it up. Pardon the pun.

“When in Rome do as the Romans do” is a polite idiom to abide by the customs of the locals when visiting. Travellers are not being polite; they want to immerse themselves in the cultural experience. What you eat, how it is grown, gathered, hunted, fished, and prepared is part of the cultural fabric of a destination. Restaurants and the purveyors of food therefore are not just in the agriculture business and the restaurant business; they have the opportunity to flourish as part of the tourism industry. So if you are a restaurateur and are serving vacuum packed packets of jam – don’t. Break open your freezer, add a cup of sugar to those partridgeberries and make some jam and start your journey in the tourism industry. We’d love to have you on board.

“He understands the meaning of being a tourism professional, and promotes Newfoundland as being the best destination on earth,” says Larry’s daughter, Sonia. “What makes my father qualified for this award is he is a proud Newfoundlander who can’t help but tell others about all the unique things we have to offer in our neck of the woods.” The winners of Adventure Central’s annual Bergy awards were chosen by an independent awards committee comprised of representatives of the other four Destination Management Organizations.

Winter 2014

Go Western Newfoundland is earning its recent (2011) name change and associated increasing mandate from that of a marketing organization to a management one – including among its workload, a number of initiatives and projects tied to product and/or destination development. More recently, we have been asked to play a significant role in hosting the key contributors and tourism stakeholders that will be involved in Western Newfoundland’s contribution to the provincial-scale Destination Development Plan - a task that we welcome with open arms and are genuinely excited about being directly involved in. Within an agreed on framework designed by the consultant tandem of Brain Trust (Ontario) and Tourism Café (British Columbia), the Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador led initiative will rely heavily on the regional Destination Management Organization in each respective area, provincial departments of Tourism, Culture and Recreation and Innovation, Business and Rural Development as well as our federal partners at the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in order to facilitate the process of engagement in the region.


Partnerships Hospitality NL launches a new sponsorship program in 2014


Newfoundland and Labrador tourism and travel suppliers are partnering with Hospitality NL to show their public commitment to the growth and longevity of the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. To provide recognition to these tourism and travel suppliers for their continued support of the industry and association, Hospitality NL is launching a new sponsorship program in 2014. At Hospitality NL, our sponsor partnerships are about forging strategic alliances that advance tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador, creating value for customers, and extending reach into targeted and new markets.


The new corporate sponsorship program is designed around the colors of the Hospitality NL logo; there are five levels: INDIGO, TEAL, ORANGE, RED, and GREEN. Each level has a set of communications, networking and valued added benefit options to match the sponsor’s level of investment ranging from an excellent introduction to the tourism industry as a Green sponsor to recognition as a major supporter of the tourism industry as an Indigo sponsor. Hospitality NL also provides event and award sponsorship opportunities to our partners. As we launch the new program, we are excited to announce that long-time corporate sponsors, Provincial Airlines and Cal LeGrow, have again shown their commitment and support for both the tourism industry and Hospitality NL by signing on to our new program. We are further pleased to announce the addition of Eastern Audio as a 2014 sponsor and we are looking forward to announcing more partners very soon.


Hospitality NL’s Sponsorship Program offers a cost effective and beneficial way for businesses to promote their products and services to the tourism industry. Hospitality NL represents over 500 direct members and over 2500 tourism businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador that enjoy regular communications, networking events, and other added benefits. As a Hospitality NL sponsor, the business becomes intrinsically linked with all of Hospitality NL’s industry communications. Hospitality NL, with the assistance of our many partners, continues to build the tourism industry into a substantial economic generator and community partner. By providing tourism operators with business development, advocacy, skills and knowledge and information support, Hospitality NL contributes greatly to the industry’s progression.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities at Hospitality NL, contact:

Winter 2014

Indigo Sponsor



Orange Sponsor

Juanita Ford 709-722-2000 ext 226

Red Sponsor


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.

Hospitality NL Board of Directors Darlene Thomas Chair Rex Avery Vice-Chair Dion Finlay Secretary/Treasurer and Bed & Breakfast Association Peter Antle Director Annette Parsons Director Connie Rose Director Todd Warren Director Greg Fleming Hotel/Motel Association

(Full board contact information available at

Staff Listing Carol-Ann Gilliard Juanita Ford

Chief Executive Officer

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton St. John’s Airport 411 Stavanger Drive St. John’s, NL A1A 0A1 Contact: Greg Ivany (709) 738-4888 Town of Channel-Port aux Basques 67 Main Street Port aux Basques, NL A0M 1C0 Contact: Shauna Strickland (709) 695-5775

Bobbi Pike Art 14 Kingswood Drive Topsail, NL A1W 5M1 Contact: Bobbi Pike (709) 834-9187 Grand Codroy RV P.O. Box 71 Doyles, NL A0N 1J0 Contact: Alice Keeping (709) 955-2520 MyVid RR 1 Box 226 Corner Brook, NL A2N 2N2 Contact: Ernesto Fuentes (709) 640-3230

Single Parent Association of Newfoundland and Labrador 472 Logy Bay Road St. John’s, NL A1A 5G6 Contact: Yvette Walton (709) 738-3401

Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador P.O. Box 59 Winterton, NL AOB 3M0 Contact: Beverley King (709) 583-2070

Manager, Workforce and Industry Development

Leslie Rossiter Manager, Policy and Communications Craig Foley Karen So

Manager, Membership/ Networking and Technology

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


Susan Greene Membership Coordinator Scott Penney Workforce and Partnership Development Coordinator Melissa Ennis Lynn Taylor

Social Media Communications Coordinator NL Tourism Board Manager

Consumer Choice Award for Business Excellence. 3rd consecutive year

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!

800 640 4691

709 722 0864

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

Winter 2014

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


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