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FALL 2016

Copyright Barrett & MacKay Photo; NL Tourism

Newsletter of the Tourism Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador

Coastline at Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, Avalon Newfoundland & Labrador’s newest World Heritage Site as delcared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in July 2016

Your Provincial Tourism Industry Association 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 Dion Finlay Scott Hillyer Colleen Kennedy Darlene Thomas Terence Hickey Steve Denty Joe O’Brien Rex Avery Wayne Hallett Jerry Byrne Larry Laite

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

(Full board contact information available at

Staff Listing Craig Foley Chief Executive Officer Juanita Ford Manager, Workforce and Industry Development Leslie Rossiter Manager, Policy and Communications Karen So Accountant Melissa Ennis Technology Coordinator Susie Greene Membership Coordinator Allie Bourden Training Coordinator

Head Office

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

Desktop Layout

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

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, established in 1983, is a non-profit membership association that leads, supports, represents and enhances the province’s tourism industry. Hospitality NL has been the voice of the provincial tourism industry since the association was founded. Its work on behalf of members and the industry itself has played a crucial role in developing the tourism industry into the flourishing economic driver that it is today. Hospitality NL 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.


Hospitality NL believes that the industry’s sustainability for future generations is of utmost important. The preservation of our province’s natural and cultural integrity, and the economic sustainability of our businesses and organizations are vital to this end.


Hospitality NL recognizes, respects and responds to the diverse needs of our rural and urban members operating various types of businesses and organizations.


Hospitality NL believes that our environment is our most valuable tourism asset and an essential component of the tourism industry’s future. We are dedicated to the sustainable development of our natural and cultural resources and the protection of our environment.


Hospitality NL believes technology is an enabler. We encourage and support our members in the integration of technology to support their growth and profitability.


Hospitality NL is committed to assisting our members, regardless of where they are located, to obtain the resources and tools they require.


Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is supported by the tourism industry and

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, the voice of tourism, provides leadership and direction for the sustainability and growth of the tourism industry.

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Over the course of the summer, I had the good fortune, and incredible pleasure, to visit tourism operators in different regions throughout the province and while each product and place was undoubtedly different, the experiences were outstanding wherever I traveled. I thoroughly enjoyed touring physical structures, visiting historical and acclaimed landmarks and sampling local culinary delights, but what struck me time and again, from Placentia to Tilting to Goose Bay and points

in between, was that the abundance of warm hospitality coupled with bucket list experiences delivered in breathtaking surroundings is nothing short of remarkable! The question was never what to do next but what can I not wait to do next! Beautiful buildings and landmarks can be found in all corners of the globe; what we have in Newfoundland and Labrador that is so very special and so very unique that it beckons travelers is not found in those is found in our people and the way in which we interact with travelers, not like ‘travelers’ but like welcomed friends. It is the experiences that we craft and how we deliver them to travelers that distinguish our destination from so many others. And moving forward, the basis for future growth of our provincial tourism industry can be found within these strengths. The provincial destination development processes that have unfolded across all regions of the province have clearly identified that, while each region has its own strengths, in order to ensure we attract more visitors who stay longer and experience more, all regions must focus on enhancing program and people based experiences. It is through this interaction that travelers can understand the character of our province and those who live here resulting in more meaningful and memorable connections. If I think of highlights on my

recent travels across the province, it is the people and experiences that stand out, not a physical structure or even spectacular scenery, but rather, the way in which the history was relayed to me as I toured such beautiful lands and the person relaying it. Another significant aspect of future industry growth moving forward, and I imagine this is of little surprise to anyone involved in the provincial tourism industry, can be found in culinary tourism. In an attempt to truly experience a destination and share in its culture, travelers are always asking where is the best place to eat, the best coffee shop, the best fine dining or the best kept secret known only to locals. The global culinary tourism movement is good news for our destination as Newfoundland and Labrador’s culinary innovators are heralded across the world for their creativity, passion and raw talent that translates into unforgettable dining experiences! And when you add this factor to our people and the talent and authenticity with which they deliver experiences, I believe we have a winning recipe for success.

Craig Foley CEO, Hospitality NL @craigfoleyHNL


Working Towards Our Potential

While tourism operators across the province were hard at work over the summer ensuring travelers from around the globe were enjoying once in a lifetime experiences, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador was hard at work for our members ensuring the priorities of the tourism industry are given the attention they deserve. From participating in federal and provincial consultations on labour market transfer agreements, climate

change and immigration to strategizing with partners and stakeholders across Canada on how best to address key issues, your industry association worked diligently to ensure the continued growth and development of the tourism industry is a significant factor in future government planning and action. This past summer also saw HNL continue its work with partners around the NL Tourism Board to ensure each organization’s role in industry growth is defined and aligned so all partners can optimize their strengths and use of resources, eliminate duplication, and collaborate to address gaps hindering the advancement of tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador. 2020 is just around the corner and all stakeholders must work together to ensure we stay true to the path outlined for realizing our vision and beyond. As the fall season gets underway, it offers a great opportunity to analyze the past summer season which is still very fresh in the minds of operators and in doing so, adjust plans for the shoulder season if necessary and determine how best to maintain growth well into next year and beyond. Fall is also a wonderful time to participate in skills and knowledge development training and the HNL team has been working diligently preparing for the upcoming workshop series featuring

the return of the dynamic and unforgettable Christina Miranda to the province! In addition to Christina’s return, this fall we will again be offering webinars, customer service and technology workshops, and of course work is well underway on HNL’s 2017 Annual Conference and Trade Show which is heading to Gander. Following up on the success of the 2016 conference is no easy feat but rest assured, 2017 will feature an incredible line-up of speakers, presenters, trade show suppliers and premier networking opportunities! Lastly, Hospitality NL will be holding industry feedback events this fall to hear from our members on the issues that matter most to them. I encourage all members to come out to our events throughout the fall as the opportunities are plentiful: grow your network, learn new skills, train your staff, share your thoughts and participate in all things tourism to benefit your business and the tourism industry in your region and across the province...I look forward to seeing you.

Dion Finlay Chair, Hospitality NL @HNLChair

FALL 2016


From Strengths to Success



FEB. 21-23, 2017

FALL 2016



Nominations now being accepted for 2017 Tourism Excellence Awards

(Photo Credit Eastern Audio Ltd.)


Hospitality NL’s Board and staff are excited to return to Gander with an all new program of sessions and events, the industry supplier trade show and plenty of learning and networking opportunities for all tourism stakeholders in attendance! The largest gathering of tourism operators in the province, the event will provide opportunities to network with leaders in the industry, gather valuable information affecting the successful development of tourism in the province providing operators with paths to profit to grow their business!

The Tourism Excellence Awards provide a means to celebrate the achievements of individuals and organizations that rank among the most innovative and passionate in the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador!

Tourism Corporate Partner Award

Accommodator Award of Excellence

Tourism Innovator Award

Tourism Business Award of Excellence

Other awards presented during Hospitality NL’s Conference and Trade Show:

Cultural Tourism Award

presented by Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism and Hospitality NL

Sustainable Tourism Award presented by Parks Canada and Hospitality NL

Doug Wheeler Award

presented by Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

The deadline to submit award nominations is January 13, 2017.. For more information, please visit or contact Melissa Ennis at

2016 Silver Anniversary Scholarships Recipients


Emily Chislett is a highly focused individual commencing her studies at Memorial University with a goal to obtain a Bachelor of Nursing. An active and engaged leader among her peers, Emily is an accomplished athlete who believes in supporting her community through multiple volunteer programs. Emily’s academic abilities combined with her passion to help others will ensure a future filled with much success and rewards. Emily is the daughter of the owner/ operator of Hospitality NL member Dorset Inn.


Joshua Lehr is a highly ambitious fourth year student at Memorial University focusing on a future in the field of medicine. The recipient of numerous academic awards and distinctions, his natural ability for academic excellence is rivaled only by his commitment to help others succeed. Joshua’s academic aptitude combined with his community involvement will undoubtedly ensure a clear path towards much future success. Joshua is the son of an employee of Hospitality NL member, City of St. John’s.

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FALL 2016

Hospitality NL was pleased to award the 2016 Silver Anniversary Scholarships to Emily Chislett and Joshua Lehr. Hospitality NL has long championed the significance and impact of skills and knowledge development and is pleased to once again assist two individuals in the pursuit of higher education. The quality and quantity of applicants was exceptional and Emily and Joshua have very bright futures ahead of them. Hospitality NL is proud to provide financial support to these students through the Silver Anniversary Scholarship and directly assist them in the pursuit of their future goals. Established in 2008 for Hospitality NL’s 25th anniversary year, the Silver Anniversary Scholarship is generously supported by the Boone family and the Sparkes family, two families with a long tradition of innovation and leadership within the tourism community. Each year, two Silver Anniversary Scholarships are awarded to a dependant or employee of a Hospitality NL member to assist with the cost of post-secondary education. The scholarships are awarded based on educational goals and direction, academic performance, extra-curricular activities and community involvement.  Each recipient will receive a $1500 scholarship.


Tourism Technology With a successful summer tourism season coming to a close, has organized several training opportunities for tourism operators and staff, focused on helping you elevate your skills and refine your technology strategy and online presence. To register for any of these training opportunities, please contact Melissa Ennis at 1-800-563-0700 ext. 231 or

WORKSHOP Google Analytics: The Next Level

FALL 2016

November 2, 2016, 8:30am-4:30pm The Capital Hotel, St. John’s, NL Workshop fee: Hospitality NL members - $99 + HST ($125 + HST for non-members)


Are you ready to take your knowledge of Google Analytics to the next level? This one-day workshop hosted by Sheldon Payne of Newfound Marketing will provide you with in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals to enhance your understanding of web analytics so you can find actionable insights to make smart marketing decisions. We will focus on helping you discover who your visitors are, how they are getting to your website, what content they are viewing, and whether website visitors are turning into customers. In addition, you will learn how Google Analytics can help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Learning outcomes include: • Fundamentals of Google Analytics • Understanding the interface • Interpreting Google Analytics reports • Best practices for collecting and enhancing Google Analytics data, including how to set up and measure marketing campaigns • How to use Google Analytics to track conversions (i.e. sales, lead generations, downloads, etc.) and make meaningful business decisions Participants will work within their Google Analytics account in real time with guidance from the instructor and other resource people in the room, and are encouraged to bring a laptop, tablet or other mobile device to facilitate a hands-on learning approach.

WEBINAR Protecting Your Online Data

WEBINAR Keeping up with Mobile Tech

November 30, 2016 – 11:00am-12:00pm Presenter: Jamie Vander Kooi, TIAPEI Free for Hospitality NL members! Ever feel like you can’t keep up with the ever changing world of mobile-based technology? Are you familiar with all the ways your mobile device can contribute to your daily business activities? Join  for a webinar session on the best tech innovations that will help you unlock the potential of your mobile devices and make it easier to manage and promote your tourism business from the palm of your hand.


for any of these training opportunities, please contact Melissa Ennis at 1-800-563-0700 ext. 231 or

October 26, 2016 – 11:00am-12:00pm Presenter: Dr. Jay Adamsson Free for Hospitality NL members!

In today’s world where practically every aspect of our lives is connected to technology and the internet, it can be daunting to think about protecting your personal information. As a tourism operator, you have the added responsibility of protecting access to your customers’ information as well. Join and Dr. Jay Adamsson of AOR Web Solutions to learn the best ways to ensure your business information remains in your hands, protecting yourself and your customers from losing control online.

WEBINAR Twitter & Tourism 102: Content Strategy

November 9, 2016 – 11:00am-12:00pm Presenter: Melissa Ennis, HNL & Allison Clark, TIAPEI Free for Hospitality NL members! Now that you have learned the ins and outs of Twitter and have started to build a following, it’s time to focus on your content strategy for this unique, conversation-based platform. Join for a live discussion that will help you connect with your audience and share content that is in line with your tourism business goals and values. is a strategic partnership that aims to enable tourism operators in Atlantic Canada to improve their competitiveness through the effective utilization of online technology tools and resources. These training opportunities are supported by the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (BTCRD) and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) through the project.

Making Smart Business Choices: Spending Time and Money Wisely in the Tourism Industry

The hours and dollars available to you are finite, and yet the choices available for your business decisions are infinite. How do you choose from among the various marketing, operational, and technology options without wasting precious resources? Every day, you’re faced with tough choices because all your resources come from the same bucket. Should you spend time developing new products and services, or should you spend time redoing your website? Should you spend that little bit of unexpected profit on a new marketing campaign, or should you buy that new equipment that will help you serve more guests? These decisions are never easy…they compete, conflict, and stretch your resources in different directions. And there’s no magic handbook to tell you what to do because…every business is different. The choices you make are driven by your size, staffing structure, risk tolerance, seasonality, geographic location, years in business, repeat guest rate, business “culture,” and more. Topics to be covered include: Product Development with a Purpose: Setting Your Business Apart Guest Relations: Making Relationships, Not Transactions Taming Cyberspace: Which Online “Stuff” Really Matters? Creative Marketing: Think More, Spend Less


October 11, 2016: Greenwood Inn & Suites, Corner Brook October 12, 2016: Ramada Hotel, St. John’s October 14, 2016: Albatross Hotel, Gander *Special accommodations rates are available at each hotel for registered participants.*


CHRISTINA MIRANDA After the great sessions at the Hospitality NL Conference in March and the overwhelming feedback received from the delegates, Christina is coming back to NL! She is a founding principal of NYC- and VT-based Redpoint Marketing PR, which provides PR, digital marketing, graphic design, social media, and training/ consulting services for businesses in the hospitality and tourism industries. In her 25 years as a brand and image counselor, Chris has helped achieve marketing results for organizations such as the New England Inns & Resorts Association, Vermont Tourism, US Tour Operators Association, Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Cunard Line, Hyatt Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, New Hampshire Tourism, The Principality of Monaco, and more. As Redpoint’s lead trainer and business consultant, Chris also helps hospitality organizations solve key business challenges. With a focus on guest service, training, operations, and resource management, Chris has “course corrected” at such businesses as Killington Resort, Six Flags, Collette, Manchester & The Mountains Regional Chamber of Commerce, and more. In Atlantic Canada, she provides counsel and training for a diverse range of tourism entities including the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Hospitality NL Members: $99 + HST (includes lunch) Non-Members: $125 + HST (includes lunch)


To register, please contact Allie Bourden at 709-722-2000 ext. 234 or

Check out this video about Christina coming back to NL

This training opportunity is supported by the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (BTCRD) and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

FALL 2016

This one-day workshop led by Christina Miranda will give you the tools and knowledge to make smarter decisions that align with your business goals.


From Our Partners Ready, Willing and Able: Building an Inclusive Workforce Submitted by: Yvonne McDermott, Labour Market Facilitator In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, the difference between success and failure lies in the talent and diverse skill set of your workforce. There are approximately 500,000 working age adults with intellectual disabilities or ASD across Canada. This untapped workforce can help address current labour shortages while making businesses stronger, more diverse and more productive. The Ready, Willing and Able Program is a national partnership of the Newfoundland & Labrador Association for Community Living (NLACL), the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders

Alliance (CASDA) and their member organizations. Funded by the Government of Canada and active in 20 communities across the country, RWA is designed to increase the labour force participation of people with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). RWA will: • Connect and support employers, persons with intellectual disabilities or ASD and local, provincial and national community agencies • Promote understanding and awareness among

employers and the general public as to the business value of hiring people with intellectual disabilities or ASD • Complement and enhance the capacity of community employment service delivery organizations by connecting them to new employer demand For more information on the Ready, Willing & Able program, please contact: Yvonne McDermott, Labour Market Facilitator at (709) 722-0790.

inclusionNL: Employer Support Service partners with businesses to build disability confidence in the workplace

FALL 2016

Submitted by: Kathy Hawkins, inclusionNL Manager


Would you like to open your business to new markets? Increase your customer base? Did you know that there are 3.8 million Canadians with disabilities with a purchasing power of $55.4 billion per year? Have you considered making your business more inclusive to customers with disabilities? It’s easier than you may think. Consultants from inclusionNL offer an accepting and relaxed environment to explore new ideas and provide practical tips on how to support people with a variety of disabilities in a business environment. Earlier this year, Rocket Bakery & Fresh Foods partnered with inclusionNL to be the first business to participate in Businesses OPEN, a partnership which supports businesses to become more inclusive for everyone by creating out-ofthe-box solutions to reduce barriers for people with disabilities as employees and customers. The OPEN with Information component provided accessible copies of Rocket Bakery’s menu in audio, Braille, and large print, and the OPEN with Technology component supported

Rocket Bakery to learn more about the accessibility of their website. Now more people with disabilities can feel welcome at Rocket Bakery and get information through their online presence. Employees of Rocket Bakery enjoyed customized training through OPEN with Customer Service which provided the opportunity to safely build disability confidence in serving customers with disabilities and working with employees with disabilities. Steps and narrow door frames can pose an interesting physical access challenge for people who use a wheelchair or a walker but also for people with a baby stroller or someone making big deliveries. Through OPEN with Location, a consultant assessed the business for potential barriers as well as accessibility features. inclusionNL highlighted Rocket Bakery’s ground level entrance with an extra wide double door. Although the washrooms are on the second floor, inclusionNL came up with a solution by connecting the business with “Access Now”, a mobile app

which locates nearby accessible washrooms. “The partnership shows their commitment to offering solutions to removing obstacles for customers and employees with disabilities… it’s about building confidence and including everyone,” said Kelly Mansell, owner of Rocket Bakery & Fresh Foods. Empower, through their work on initiatives such as inclusionNL and Businesses OPEN, provides more than thirty years expertise to the business community in reducing barriers and raising awareness on accessibility, inclusive employment, and equal opportunities for everyone. Funding for these initiatives has been received from the Department of Advanced Education & Skills, Labour Market Partnerships. If you would like to build your disability confidence and increase your customer base by participating in Businesses OPEN, please contact Kathy Hawkins, inclusionNL Manager at 1-844517-1376 or and visit our website at

Tourism Quality Assurance Submitted by: Nancy McGrath, TQA Program Manager With changing demographics in assistive devices and even a phone line Newfoundland and Labrador, it is imperative dedicated for inclusion inquiries. The team at that we position ourselves to meet the needs of Access Advisor was excited to be a part of the all our customers. Access Advisor is a program inclusion initiatives, evaluating the Festival for that strives to ensure your place of business, Full, Sight and Hearing Accessible Designations. both inside and out, is ready to welcome all Once the evaluation was completed, Access customers, and to enhance their customer Advisor presented the Festival team with a experience which makes them want to return complete report on the positive attributes of again and again. the Festival’s accessibility, in addition to some This season Tourism Quality Assurance recommendations that would enhance the had the opportunity to work with the Festival experience for seniors and persons Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival with disabilities. Organizers were very happy Administrators to assess the Festival’s level to have this level of validation as an addition of accessibility through the Access Advisor to their inclusion efforts for this year’s festival. program. The NL Folk Festival has many All persons, regardless of abilities, should wonderful accessibility features, including a have an opportunity to experience the many very knowledgeable inclusion team who offer cultural festivals and events happening in specialized training to all Festival volunteers, Newfoundland and Labrador each year. If large print and Braille schedules, hearing you are planning an event for 2017 and would

like tips on how to become more accessible, contact Nancy McGrath, Program Manager, Tourism Quality Assurance of NL, ph 2373311or

Kayla Carroll and John Clarke, NL Folk Festival

Visit For more information contact: Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Email: Or call toll free: 1-800-563-6600

FALL 2016

An Online Resource to Help you Find, Keep, and Manage Workers


Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador Working For You! Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is focused on the best interests of the tourism industry and our members!

Hospitality NL is focused on ensuring issues of importance to the tourism industry are addressed so tourism operators can sustainably grow their businesses! Through email, web news, Tourism Times and social media, Hospitality NL members are actively informed about the latest progress and opportunities in the association and industry.

D CJ @HospitalityNL

Hospitality NL offers members direct access to business experts, tools, research and skills that can help increase customer satisfaction and grow their business. Members are eligible to receive discounted rates on training programs including: • WorldHost Fundamentals • emerit training resources • webinars and workshops • Responsible Alcohol Service • and much more

Members of Hospitality NL can take pride and satisfaction in knowing that they are part of a group that has their best interests in mind. Membership provides operators with communication networks and opportunities to develop and foster partnerships among industry leaders. Key Hospitality NL events include the Annual Conference and Trade Show and Tourism Week Celebrations!

Hospitality NL's Member-to-Member Discount Program is a valuable program that gives each member the opportunity to develop industry connections and draw more attention to their business by offering specials and promotions to other Hospitality NL members.


MEMBER PROFILES For a complete listing of Hospitality NL members, please visit our Membership Directory!

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador believes the strength of the tourism industry lies in the creativity and passion of tourism operators who continually strive to reach new heights of success. Hospitality NL’s strong member network is as diverse as our industry’s offerings and we are proud to profile some new members below: Régie TRanspoRTs MaRiTiMes Passengers - Ferry - Passagers ST.PIERRE - FORTUNE NL

Saint-Pierre & Miquelon

par la mer !

Collectivité Territoriale de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon The wonders of France at your doorstep “Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, des îles d’exception”

McInnes Cooper McInnes Cooper is a trusted legal advisor to the Newfoundland & Labrador business community. We counsel small business owners on critical issues, including taxation, employment, business structure and succession planning.  We are thrilled to join Hospitality NL and to join in promoting our amazing province and its exciting hospitality industry.

Come share with the population their French art of living, culture, French culinary specialties. A delightful place to take a break, feel the positive energy through the warm smiles of the locals that welcome you. Visit Miquelon and Langlade, a rich and peaceful environment. Learn about the heyday of the inshore fishery while visiting Ile aux Marins, cast back to the time of the bootleggers in Saint-Pierre.

St. Pierre Ferry Services 1-855-832-34-55 The St. Pierre Ferry office provides seasonal daily service to Saint Pierre et Miquelon aboard our modern ferry Le Cabestan. The crossing time is 55 minutes. Looking to get away and have a unique experience? French cuisine, fresh baguette, pastry enjoy France right here in Newfoundland and Labrador. Ferry departs from Fortune on the Burin Peninsula. Call Brian to help plan your vacation. Bon Voyage! Tickets Saint-Pierre

Tél. : +(508) 41 08 75 Tél. répondeur : +(508) 41 98 99 Tél. accueil : +(508) 41 08 70 Place du Gén. de Gaulle - Saint-Pierre

Tickets Miquelon

Tél. : +(508) 41 68 99 Bd des Terre Neuvas - Miquelon

For more information please contact us at 011 508 41-02-00 in Saint-Pierre and at 011 508 41-61-87 in Miquelon. Our direct line for professionals: media, tour operator, and cruiseline: 011 508 41-01-33 Visitor information center and ticket office Place du Général de Gaulle BP: 4208 97500 Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

FALL 2016

AOR web solutions The web is a key marketing tool. Performance matters. From web strategy to development to SEO to analytics, we get it. And as former tourism operators, we understand the needs of you and your guests. No need to drift in an ocean of doubt about your online presence. Let’s talk.


NL Tourism Board Update

FALL 2016


Submitted by: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board


ard Program

NL Tourism Board thanks outgoing Tourism Board partner Jane Pardy. NL Board partners would like to thank outgoing HNL representative, Jane Pardy for her two years of commitment and dedication to Vision implementation. As a partner in Stellar properties, as well as a management consultant having completed a great deal of work within the tourism sector, Jane’s big picture perspective leant to meaningful discussion that contributed a great deal to partner achievements. Her volunteer time with the Board is appreciated and partners wish her the best of luck. Hospitality NL is seeking applications for an industry representative to serve on the NL Tourism Board. As an HNL industry representative on the NL Tourism Board, you will work with public and private leaders to guide the implementation of the provincial tourism strategy, Uncommon Potential: A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism (Vision 2020). Created in 2009, shortly after the release of the Vision, NL Tourism Board partners have been instrumental in guiding the tourism industry’s leading programs and services to enhance the growth and sustainability of the industry.

Working with public and private staff to guide the implementation of provincial marketing initiatives, destination development priorities, quality assurance programs and workforce development planning, participation on the NL Tourism Board will enable you to have a voice with industry leaders and influence strategic decision making. For more information on this exciting opportunity or to receive an application, please contact, Craig Foley, Chief Executive Officer, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador at or 709-7222000, ext: 232. Thank you to Lynn Taylor Best wishes to Lynn as she moves on to her next professional adventure at Memorial University. All of the partners of the NL Tourism Board valued Lynn’s contribution during the critical strategic planning stage and her guidance of the implementation group of the Board. Through her leadership and strong communication skills in her role as the Tourism Board Manager, she has created a clear path forward for all partners to further engage in the key stages of strategy implementation in the surge towards 2020 and our collective goals. All the best Lynn from everyone in the tourism industry in the province.



Members of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador or employees of a member company are eligible for preferred personal home and auto insurance rates. Our products, services and discounts are designed specifically for group members and there are many opportunities to save. Call 1-877-4STEERS today for your no-obligation, insurance quote. PLUS! You can earn one AIR MILES® reward mile for every $20 in premium on your home and auto insurance from RSA.* *All AIR MILES offers are subject to the Terms and Conditions of RSA, and may be changed or withdrawn without notice. Terms and Conditions can be found at

Reaching Today’s Traveller

How user-generated content, traveller reviews and travel agents influence trip planning

Recent tourism research suggests that a key motivation for today’s travellers as they plan a trip is the desire to experience something new. According to Phocuswright’s June 2016 US Consumer Travel Report, fewer travellers chose their destination based on a prior experience. Instead, more and more travellers are selecting destinations based on the natural and cultural attractions they offer. The share of travellers choosing their destination based on a previous experience dropped from 31% in 2014 to 26% in 2015 while those who chose locations based on natural (33%) and cultural offerings (29%) increased by two and five percentage points respectively. This desire for new experiences coupled with an increase in younger travellers helped propel international travel among US travellers to its highest levels in over four years. Changes in trip motivation and the rise of the millennial traveller have also impacted how travellers go about planning their trips. While online and mobile travel planning leads the way, the increasing complexity and international nature of trips has led a growing number of consumers back to travel agents and traditional offline trip planning resources. The booking timeline for leisure travel varies depending on the type of trip travellers are planning. For international trips, US travellers spend an average of 51 days researching and choosing a destination and 32 days researching and selecting various travel components for their trip. For domestic travel the lead time shortens considerably, with travellers taking just 19 days to research and select a destination and 16 days to select travel components. Flights for international trips were booked farther in advance than domestic flights but the type of trip made little difference as to when travellers booked hotels. For tourism operators, knowing what influences travel decisions is key to reaching potential visitors at these pivotal moments as they research prospective destinations, accommodations, attractions and activities early on in the travel planning cycle. Many of today’s travellers are approaching trip planning with a clean slate – in 2015 over one-third of all trips began with an independently selected destination, free of external influences such as visiting friends and family or business. This open mindset

and preference for new experiences over the familiar means destinations and tourism operators can play a key role in influencing travellers as they look for inspiration, decide where to stay and what to do once in a destination. But how exactly can destinations and operators reach potential visitors? Recent research from Phocuswright and the Cornell Centre for Hospitality Research (CHR) has shown that travellers are turning to travel reviews to share their opinions and travel experiences, with 50% of online travellers saying they wrote a review after taking a leisure trip in the last year. Travellers are most likely to review hotels (38%), restaurants (31%), airlines (23%) and local attractions and activities (19%). Travel reviews are now a go-to source for travellers as they plan their trip – 59% of travellers said that online travel reviews influenced their travel-purchase decisions and research continues to show that travellers are more likely to trust traveller-submitted reviews, photos and videos over professional content. As Phocuswright noted in its review of how user-generated content influenced potential travellers, “the end of one traveller’s trip often


the review based on a good experience, with only 9% writing to leave negative feedback. And for those reviewing local attractions and attractions, 91% were motivated to leave a review based on a positive experience, with just 4% motivated by a negative one. While travellers continue to look to online and mobile resources when planning and booking a trip, use of traditional offline channels, namely travel agents, has seen a resurgence in recent years. Research from MMGY Global has shown that amidst the popularity of online travel agencies (OTAs) and supplier websites for travel research and booking, more and more travellers are looking to travel agents to help them navigate their way through the sheer volume of online information, propelling travel agent use to a six-year high. Notably, 16% of travellers used a travel agent in 2015, up from 12% in 2013 while the likelihood of using an agent in the next two years increased to 21% in 2015 from 17% in 2013. And surprisingly, the recent resurgence is being led by millennial travellers with 34% having used a travel agent in 2015. While millennials have traditionally relied

of travellers said that online travel reviews influenced their travel-purchase decisions

sparks the beginning of another’s.” With more and more travellers posting reviews, sharing trip experiences and looking to this online content when making travelrelated decisions, many tourism brands and businesses have embraced travel review sites and other forms of social media as a way to engage with and ultimately influence potential visitors. Having a presence on review sites such as TripAdvisor, which has over 350 million unique monthly visitors, encouraging guests to leave reviews of their stay, and responding to negative reviews can boost TripAdvisor ratings and has even been found to increase revenue according to studies by the CHR. While some tourism operators may be weary of negative reviews, research has shown that reviewers are more likely to be motivated to write online reviews based on good experiences rather than negative ones. Among travellers reviewing hotels, 84% said they were motivated to write

on the internet for travel planning, they are now putting less faith in online resources and are seeking professional help to sort through the myriad of options and prices available to them, placing more value on customer service, personal expertise and convenience. Similarly, older travellers are turning to agents to help plan more complex trips to unfamiliar bucket list destinations. The travel agent revival is also good news for destinations and tourism operators – over 75% of travel agent users said that agents influenced their choice of accommodations, attractions and vacation packages and 59% of travellers booking with agents were travelling to new destinations. Building relationships with travel agents, in addition to actively maintaining an online presence and encouraging guest reviews, helps link destinations and tourism operators with potential travellers throughout the trip planning cycle.

Sources: Phocuswright, US Traveller Technology Survey 6th Ed., March 2016. Phocuswright, US Consumer Travel Report 8th Ed., June 2016. Phocuswright Webinar, From Sharing to Booking: Exploring the Role of UGC on Travel Shopping, June 2016. Cornell Centre for Hospitality Research, Hotel Performance Impact of Socially Engaging With Consumers, 2016. Travel Market Report, Travel Agents Can Play a Crucial Role in Determining a Destination and Supplier, Travel Market Report, Travel Agents Are Back Says A New MMGY Report,

FALL 2016

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


From the Regions Submitted by: Mark Lamswood Executive Director Go Western Newfoundland

summer 2016 period in this province (certainly throughout Western Newfoundland) has proven to be a successful one with earlier starts and seemingly extended visitation well into the Fall months. In short, I truly believe we’re getting somewhere as our region continues to mature as a destination. We are meeting our collective challenges and ceasing on our opportunities by enriching our understanding of who our visitors are and how to better meet their needs in a sustainable manner. In the coming months, we’ll take time to continue to plan and polish our invites and offers to the marketplace. Numerous operators will continue to welcome visitors throughout our Fall, Winter and Spring seasons across our year round suite of festivals, events and experiences. We feel extremely “Lucky” to be immersed in this continuing Saga with you all!

L-R: Craig Foley (HNL), Mark “The Lucky” Lamswood (Go Western Newfoundland) and Randy Letto (Destination Labrador)

FALL 2016

Turning a New Leif The tourism sector is on the change in this province. The only constant that you can hang your hat on these days is that things are indeed changing – in some cases for the better and admittedly in some cases for the worse. New challenges and new opportunities are presenting themselves at every single turn. With our respective destination development plans for the most part now in hand, we’re into that very challenging (and oft times rewarding) implementation phase of tourism development into our regions, cluster areas and communities. By many accounts, the

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus


Submitted by: Matt Molloy Marketing Coordinator Adventure Central Newfoundland

Record numbers for Quad-A-Palooza IV Despite some weather-related cancellations, Quad-A-Palooza IV in Gander resulted in record numbers for the annual ATV event. Cory Abbott, event organizer, said more than 350 ATV enthusiasts from across the island converged in Gander for this year’s Quad-APalooza, which took place Sept. 9-11.  “It’s the biggest one we’ve ever had,” said Abbott. “We had just over 300 people the year before…so considering the bad weather we had this year, we were very pleased with those numbers.” If not for the bad weather that hit Gander on the first day of the festival, Abbott said numbers would have been significantly higher.  They were sold-out for months, he said, adding Quad-A-Palooza would have brought in 500 people if the weather never forced some to cancel their plans.   With record numbers this year for an event that was sold-out months ahead of time, what makes Quad-A-Palooza so appealing to the masses of people that attend year after year? “It taps into the ATV culture here in the province, which is huge. The ATV market

Along with enjoying amazing guided tours, and testing their skills in the mud pits and obstacle course, Quad-APalooza participants also got to enjoy some delicious food. (Chris Tuck Photo)

seems to be growing, and with our winters being so unpredictable, it seems like the ATV is becoming the vehicle of choice for a lot of people,” said Abbott. “In Newfoundland and Labrador, the outdoors and ATVing is part of who we are, really.” Abbott went on to say that Quad-APalooza was the first ATV-themed festival on this big a scale to bring people together who enjoy such a culture. If you look across the country, he said, ATV jamborees and mud events are extremely popular. Organizers took elements of those events that are already successful and implanted them in QuadA-Palooza, and the results have spoken for themselves. “The results have been phenomenal since day one,” said Abbott. “The demand was exceptional this year with record number of inquiries coming in from people looking to attend.” So, what exactly is Quad-A-Palooza? According to Abbott, it’s an all-inclusive ATVthemed weekend, which includes guest’s accommodations, entertainment and events during the festival. Along with a welcoming event this year

that had a western theme, guided tours were offered to participants that included a mussel boil-up; plus the popular Muddin’ Mayhem, which included two mud pits and an obstacle course. Along with ATV riders testing their skills in the pits and on the obstacle course, the Dirty Dash for the Cash was held, which is a footrace through the mud. There’s also a four-course meal offered on the Saturday night, and QuadA-Palooza ends on the Sunday with an ATV parade around Gander. Moving forward, Abbott said the plan is to continue hosting successful Quad-A-Palooza events, and said number five is all but certain. He added a debriefing session was planned for the week after Quad-A-Palooza, and then the planning work begins for Quad-A-Palooza V. “I think there’s going to be a Quad-APalooza V. I think that’s a given,” said Abbott with a confident tone. “There’s always an evolution with events…and it seems like people love it and they always want to come back. We’ll continue to add things and make it as big as we can.” For more information on Quad-A-Palooza, visit their Facebook page at https://www.

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

UNESCO Designation at Mistaken Point Highlights Banner Year for Eastern Newfoundland It has been an incredible summer for Eastern Newfoundland. We’re hearing from our members that this has been one of the busiest seasons on record, with reservations for future years coming in already! This is the result of their continued dedication and hard work, as well as the support of the rest of the tourism industry. Truly it is an exciting time to be a part of this industry as we continue to build momentum and deliver on the provincial brand promise. In late July, Eastern Newfoundland saw one of its extraordinary sites receive a designation that was a decade in the making. Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve was inscribed as the fourth UNESCO World Heritage Site in the province, joining the three other such sites in Western Newfoundland and Labrador. Already, this honour has brought new visitors to the

17 Photo Credit NL Tourism

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

FALL 2016

St. John’s Convention Centre The newly expanded St. John’s Convention Centre opened in May, 2016. The initial feedback on its functionality and aesthetics has been great. As I mentioned in 2013, when we shared the good news that the expansion was approved, the economic impact for meetings and conventions on the economy was $55 million annually. With the expanded SJCC we look forward to seeing that number grow significantly in the coming years. And remember 47% of delegates come early and stay late and 59% travel outside of St. John’s to tour and explore the province.  It’s a good news story for everyone. Enjoy the visual tour.

Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

area, a trend we expect will improve in coming years. Fortunately, the tourism stakeholders of Trepassey Bay, St, Mary’s Bay, and the Southern Shore are ready for this increase in visitation with improved quality and variety of experiences to compliment a visit to Mistaken Point. All of Eastern Newfoundland stands to benefit through the Eastern Newfoundland Geological Network, a series of sites ranging from St. John’s to Fortune and Port Union. This network will help visitors discover our unique and incomparable geological history! This fall, we are beginning some new

initiatives that will engage our members in very beneficial ways. We are currently working with a professional photographer to improve visual assets across our members’ businesses. We have also contracted Reflective Marketing to help improve business listings and create content for Our AGM will be held in the last week of October in Trepassey, so that our members can continue the celebration of the UNESCO World Heritage inscription. Keep an eye on for specific location and date details!

Tourism Times - Fall 2016  

The newsletter of the tourism industry association of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Tourism Times - Fall 2016  

The newsletter of the tourism industry association of Newfoundland and Labrador.