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Newsletter of the Tourism Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador


Tourism Industry Honours Champions at Hospitality NL’s Annual Conference and Trade Show L-R: Amanda Decker-Penton, Fogo Island Inn; Todd Wight, Ocean View Hotel; Jackie Chow, Corner Brook Port Corporation; Pauline Payne, Shorefast Foundation; Brian Dawe, Eastlink TV; Ian Stone, Gros Morne Co-operating Association; Chris Osmond, Wooden Boat Museum of NL; Joe O’Brien, O’Brien’s Whale and Bird Tours; Michelle LeBlanc, Chinched Bistro; Dr. Robert Scott, Bonne Bay Aquarium and Marine Station. For details on award recipients, please see the back cover.





When I use Spring as the title of my message for this edition, I guess most would expect me to talk about the buds growing on the trees, grass turning green and all of the other wonderful things that make our world come back to life after a long, hard winter. I love spring, the season. It is a high gear time for the tourism industry as operators make their preparations for the busiest tourism time of the year and when a lot of travellers make their final details for vacations here in Newfoundland and Labrador. The spring I want to talk about is the other kind...the action word: to leap forward, to jump with force. It is certainly no secret that tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador has made leaps in a relatively short period of time, as outlined in the Vision 2020 evaluation presented at our recent Annual Conference and in this edition of Tourism Times. The industry has proven that under the guidance of a collective vision, we can shoot the tourism industry forward to generate even greater significant economic and employment returns for the province than ever seen before. But behind that vision is leadership, visionary leadership, such as that displayed by tourism champions throughout the province. It is the force behind the spring. When you think about how a typical spring works, its power squarely depends on the level of force applied to it. It is astounding to me the number of tourism operators who spend their days doing more than a full time job running their operations and still take the precious time that they have left over to volunteer with

Hospitality NL, the Tourism Board, DMOs and countless other organizations. They do this with the noble goal of advancing the prospects for everyone in the industry and, despite all the pressures, they are making a difference. Our tourism industry champions and leaders do not have an easy go of it. In order to play a role in the leadership of the tourism industry, it means taking a leap towards a vision on behalf of thousands of business operators and organizations that make up the industry. A mighty big responsibility. Sometimes being a tourism leader involves supporting policies that not everyone agrees with but is right for tourism’s long-term development. Sometimes it comes with great disappointment that even with tremendous efforts, outcomes fall short of expectations. Sometimes it involves watching common sense, practical initiatives take too long to gain traction. Sometimes it involves patiently chipping away at long, persistent barriers, even when it seems to fall on disinterested ears. Whatever the situation, for tourism operators, it is always at the cost of losing time and energy that could otherwise be invested in their own operations, on their own individual goals and for their own benefit. In the end, what is in the best interest of the collective for the long term is generally what rules and fuels the day. As we see the fruits of our labours by becoming an industry that generates over $1.1 billion dollars in spending annually, eight percent of total jobs in the provincial economy and significant tax revenues, preserving and interpreting the incredible natural and cultural resources of our province and adding tremendous value to the quality of life for people who live here and for those who visit, it is our industry owners, operators and champions who have been the great force in the spring. I wish there were a photo opportunity where we could bring together all of our members and partners, past and present, who have enabled the giant leaps forward that have been made in the tourism industry. The faces, personalities, characters and innovators that would be captured in that picture would truly be worth the billion words of wisdom they have given to guide the tourism industry forward. Now that the first half of Vision 2020 is behind us, our current industry leaders and partners on the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board will have to start building the

force in the spring for the next phase. Again, it will be industry leaders and champions who will have to see farther and stand taller in order to lay the foundation of priorities that will advance tourism to our collective goals. As a province that needs to equip itself on a path of sustainability, diversification, and economic stability, it is vital that we take every advantage to ensure that the tourism industry springs forward and seizes our potential as part of the big picture for Newfoundland and Labrador’s future. This will mean ensuring our own course for tourism is set so that we can become more competitive, more profitable and more sustainable. It will require all of us to focus on our roles and perform them to the very best of our abilities. It will require that our partners in tourism help by enabling the barriers to be broken down and investment commitments to be made. Securing our course for the next five years will also mean playing a part on an Atlantic Canada and national stage to ensure that we maximize our share of global tourism growth and contribute to setting a regional and national course for tourism. As Rex continues as the industry representative at the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership and I take on my new role as the Chair of the Provincial/Territorial Tourism Industry Associations Committee and assume a position as their representative on the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) Board of Directors, we are committing to seizing all opportunities and contributing to the leadership of our national tourism efforts for global opportunities. Setting our course to spring the tourism industry forward in the next five years requires the right amount of force, whether it is here in Newfoundland and Labrador or at an Atlantic Canada or national level. The engagement and support of tourism owners, operators and champions is what builds the force and I encourage all to be engaged in whatever form you are capable of. The more leaders in the picture, the further we will spring.

Carol-Ann Gilliard CEO, Hospitality NL @CAGilliard

Throughout Hospitality NL’s recent Annual Conference and Trade Show, held in Gander from February 24-26, I had the opportunity to meet with members from across the province and discuss all things tourism: exciting opportunities, new ideas, season ahead as well as concerns and challenges. Leading up the conference, I was looking forward to gathering feedback on a number of issues of importance to the sustainable growth of the tourism industry as this feedback helps guide the activities of Hospitality NL throughout the year ahead. During the conference, members would come up to me and ask what they could do to support the association and bring about change to overcome challenges facing industry growth and development as they are, “just one small operator”. My answer, and challenge for

2015 to all members is: become engaged with your industry association, provide feedback, share your experiences and lessons learned, attend events such as our AGM and conference and participate actively in them. The issue of room/tourism levies is a wonderful example of the power of one small operator’s voice joining others to become part of an enormously effective and collective industry voice, a collective voice that gave your industry association a resounding and clear message on an issue of critical importance. Hospitality NL has heard that message and is committed to delivering it. The idea of municipality controlled room/ tourism levies concerns me on many levels and as one delegate aptly phrased my point of view on the issue: “Rex is vexed”.  The idea of the tourism industry simply handing over control of room levies to municipalities will not happen. In fact, I was very pleased during Hospitality NL’s AGM to be given unanimous support of our position on this issue: Any room/ tourism levies decided upon in any jurisdiction should have the approval of those expected to implement the levy; room/tourism levies should be industry led, focused and managed with the monies collected re-invested back into tourism marketing and tourism development. While Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador fully supports a reasonable and sustainable municipal revenue framework, we do not support legislation that would allow the implementation and/or management of room/ tourism levies by municipalities to achieve such a framework. We have relayed our position to Municipalities NL, the Government of NL and multiple media outlets and we will continue to reiterate our position until the proposal is

L-R: Premier Paul Davis, Hospitality NL Chair, Rex Avery and Minister Darin King.

L-R: Vice-Chief Harvey Drew and Chief Mi’sel Joe from Miawpukek First Nation with Hospitality NL Chair, Rex Avery.

retracted by Municipalities NL. The room/tourism levies issue provides me with an opportunity to reiterate a message of my own and that is the essential role of Hospitality NL in coordinating individual efforts. As a province-wide organization, Hospitality NL is in a unique position to be aware of and harness the power of multiple efforts across NL into a greater force, one that brings together a common stance and highlight it on provincial and national stages to produce greater gains. This coordination of individual efforts on issues of significant importance to all tourism stakeholders from coast to coast, ranging from room/tourism levies to marketing, is an essential component needed to both raise awareness and advance the industry. Some of you reading this may recall that I’ve previously stated my favorite movie is The Little Mermaid. Like many parents, I watched it with my children when they were younger and I am now watching it again with my grandchildren. I thoroughly enjoy this time spent with my family and throughout these occasions, it has struck me how successful Walt Disney was; from humble cartoon drawings of a mouse to what is now simply known as Disney. Whether you praise him or not, one cannot contest Disney’s continued success and longevity (I’m sure you’ve all heard of Frozen’s Elsa and Anna by now). Walt Disney once said, “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.” And I agree wholeheartedly with him; Walt Disney did not build Disney, the collective efforts of many people, well-coordinated and focused on a goal did. While I do not profess to be Walt Disney, I will commit that throughout this second half of my term as Chair, I will continue to lead as many as will join me and direct efforts towards our common goal of doubling annual tourism revenues by 2020. Like Disney and all it has become, I think the growth of Newfoundland and Labrador as a premiere destination of choice will continue for many generations to come. Rex Avery Chair, Hospitality NL @HNLChair

Hospitality NL Chair, Rex Avery, speaking with Gander & Area Chamber of Commerce representatives.



The Power of One


Evaluating Vision 2020 Submitted by: Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism Board

2015 represents the half way mark to Vision 2020 since the launch of Uncommon Potential: A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism (Vision 2020) in 2009. Evaluating the collective progress towards the Vision’s ultimate goal of doubling tourism spending to $1.6 billion by 2020 is a critical component of ensuring success. As such, the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board is pleased to have completed the 2015 Vision Milestone Evaluation, reporting on the period, 20122014. Presented to delegates at Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador’s Conference in February, the following is a sampling of some of the most pertinent information presented from the 2015 Vision Milestone Evaluation.

Milestone Snapshots


Tourism Spending ($ millions) -Actual Forecast-






















Note: f=forecast. Forecast spending for 2014, 2017 and 2020 is based on actual spending achieved in 2013, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7%. Resident and non-resident shares of spending are assumed to remain stable at 55% and 45% respectively. Source: Statistics Canada: Travel Survey of Residents of Canada; Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (BTCRD)

Non-Resident Visitation Total Non-Resident Visitation

Air Auto Cruise

2012 505,295

2013 497,933

2014 507,901

360,015 106,197 39,083

367,172 99,919 30,842

388,436 92,644 26,821

Non-Resident Spending ($M) Total Non-Resident Spending

Air Auto Cruise

2012 $458.9

2013 $467.3

2014 $491.1

$359.1 $96.4 $3.4

$372.5 $92.2 $2.7

$401.6 $87.1 $2.4

> Represents 44% of total tourism spending

Resident Visitation (millions) Total Resident Visitation

2012 4.072

2013 3.613

2014 3.792

Resident Spending ($M) Total Resident Spending

2012 $575.1

2013 $521.8

2014 $604.6

> Represents 56% of total tourism spending

To view the complete 2015 Vision Milestone Evaluation, or for more information on Vision 2020, the Tourism Board or the Tourism Board partners, please visit

The partners of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board are: Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and five of the regional Destination Management Organizations.

Vision 2020 - The Seven Strategic Directions Strategic Direction # 1 Private Public Leadership The Tourism Board has been successful in capitalizing on some best practices like performing a governance review, updating the communications plan for the Board and completing the Vision Milestone Evaluation. Work has also continued on the coordination and alignment of partners, including fostering more effective communications with industry and government, and examining our collective roles and responsibilities to find efficiencies in serving industry. Strategic Direction # 2 Sustainable Transportation Network As one of the more complex strategic directions, transportation has seen significant investments from the TransLabrador Highway to the provincial vessel replacement program. Rental car challenges persist in the high season but better relationships with rental agencies have prompted work on collective solutions while discussions about the implementation of Tourism Orientated Directional Signage (TODS) is also ongoing. Airport passenger movements are on the rise throughout all provincial airports, as well as inbound seat capacity and intra-provincial seat capacity, while Marine Atlantic numbers indicate a decline in auto travel which has resulted in a decrease in the number of ferry crossings. Strategic Direction # 3 Market Intelligence and Research Strategy Taking a proactive approach to the research strategy in the reporting period, the provincial research department has completed items such as the 2011 Provincial Visitor Exit survey, which includes 25 published visitor profiles, the Labrador Travel survey, and the Non-resident Travel Attitudes & Motivations survey. Also, the continued partnership at the provincial and federal levels ensure access to additional research highlights, all of which are being communicated through multiple channels. Strategic Direction # 4 Product Development The Tourism Assurance Plan (TAP) and the Destination Development Planning (DDP) process have been significant in moving ahead in product development. As a voluntary program that promotes enhanced service quality and delivery standards, TAP has been embraced by the industry with a 70% compliance rate in its first year. In 2015, partners will continue efforts to educate and coach tourism operators towards compliance. The DDP process has prompted unprecedented collaboration, on both the public and private sides of the table. With the goal to improve and develop tourism

assets, DDP supports the development of a more profitable and sustainable tourism sector by creating an environment that leverages our marketing investments through public and private initiatives and investments to diversify traveller experiences. Strategic Direction # 5 Tourism Technology With the announcement of the re-launch of, Hospitality NL and project partners are enabled to remain focused on providing mentorship to operators to enhance their adoption of technology. The DDP process has also enabled the benchmarking of technology adoption amongst operators, which will be useful moving forward in further developing a technology culture amongst industry. Strategic Direction # 6 Marketing our Brand During the 2012-2014 period, the province released five new tourism ads and 12 innovative social media campaigns earning the attention of the advertising community with additional awards, for a total of 223 since 2006. Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism has registered consistent growth in its online presence and social media channels resulting in levels of awareness that are at all-time highs and millions of impressions, thousands of hours of video views, high levels of audience engagement, national and international TV exposure and over 10,000 direct airline bookings. These efforts, in combination with the use of reliable research to drive marketing investments, has enabled Newfoundland and Labrador to maintain a competitive position against the Maritime provinces. Strategic Direction # 7 Developing our Workforce The workforce continues to present challenges for the tourism industry just as it does for many other industries throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Set to launch in 2015, Hospitality NL led a collaborative process with all Tourism Board partners to develop a three-year Skills, Knowledge and Workforce Provincial Action plan that will be critical in addressing industry training needs, workforce skills and knowledge gaps to ensure the long-term sustainability of the tourism sector. The viabilty of tourism industry careers has had marked achievements with the number of tourism industry jobs in the province reaching over 18,000, the hourly compensation for tourism industry jobs rising to $23 and the achievement of over 100 emerit registrations and certifications achieved between 2012 and 2014.

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

Newfoundland and Labrador recorded another successful year in tourism in 2014. Estimates indicate that the province received approximately 507,900 non-resident visitors from January 1 to December 31, 2014, representing an increase of 2% over 2013. Associated expenditures are estimated to have reached $491.1 million, a 5% increase over 2013. Summary of Estimates of Non-Resident Tourism Visitation and Expenditures in Newfoundland and Labrador 2013 and 2014 Mode



Percent Change

Visitors Expenditures $M Visitors Expenditures $M Visitors Expenditures $M





























Source: Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, Tourism Research Division Note: Based on results from the 2011 Newfoundland and Labrador Air and Auto Exit Survey Program and annual Travel Indicator Program. Data subject to revisions.

2014 once again realized increased passenger levels at the province’s seven major airports as airlines boosted non-stop seat capacity and extended many of their services. Non-resident air travel – the largest segment of our market – increased 6% over 2013 levels to an estimated 388,400 visitors. Expenditures for non-resident air visitors are estimated to have reached $401.6 million, up 8% over 2013. The number of boarding and deplaning passengers reached new record levels with 2,420,206 passengers, an increase of 6% compared to 2013. 2014 is the fifth year in a row of declining non-resident auto traffic, with auto visitation declining 7% compared to the year before. Declines were realized in all North American auto markets during 2014: Maritimes -5%, Ontario -12%, Quebec -1%, other Canada -6%, United States -10%, with other countries increasing 18%. Spending by auto visitors registered a decrease of 5% to $87.1 million. Overall Marine Atlantic passenger movements (both directions) reached 307,257 in 2014, a decrease of 7% over 2013 levels, while the number of passenger related vehicles decreased 6% during the same period. A review of detailed itinerary information provided by the Cruise Association of Newfoundland and Labrador indicates that the province received approximately 26,800 unique1 cruise visitors during the 2014 cruise season. Overall, the province recorded 69 port calls to 26 different ports by 20 vessels. Roofed accommodation performance decreased slightly during 2014. Occupancy rates on a provincial level reached 51.0%, a decrease of 0.6 percentage points over 2013’s 51.6%2. Performance was mixed at the regional level, with increases in Eastern (4.7 points) and Western regions (1.5 points) leading the province. Occupancy rates on the Avalon decreased 3.5 points, in the Central region 0.8 points and in Labrador 4.8 points. Average daily room rates were up across the board, with the provincial average daily rate up 4.4% to $133. At 8.7%, the Central region recorded the highest increase in average daily rates compared to other regions. Newfoundland and Labrador Roofed Accommodation Occupancy Levels by Region Region Province Avalon Eastern Central Western Labrador

2013 51.6

2014 51.0

Point Change -0.6

66.3 36.7

62.8 41.4

-3.5 4.7

41.0 39.0 61.2

40.2 40.5 56.4

-0.8 1.5 -4.8

Average Daily Rate $133.39 (+4.4%) $144.72 (+4.8%) $118.80 (+1.2%) $120.86 (+8.7%) $119.14 (+2.0%) $132.75 (+4.1%)

Accommodation Module, Tourism Destination Management System (TDMS) as of March 2015

Unique cruise visitors is a Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development estimate, based on an itinerary review, of cruise visitation counting passengers only once regardless of the number of port calls. This differs from Cruise Newfoundland estimates of passenger visits whereby passengers are counted at every port call. 2 Occupancy rate: This is the total number of rooms or units sold divided by the total number of rooms or units available during the reporting period. It represents the utilization rate of the sample reporting at time of publication. Occupancy levels are subject to revision pending further reporting by the province’s accommodation operators. 1

Visitation to the provincial Visitor Information Centres was down slightly (-1.5%) with 112,000 visitors for the operating period May 17th to September 27th 2014. The centre at St. John’s airport recorded a significant increase of 7.5% while the Deer Lake airport centre was on par with 2013 (-0.6%). The number of visitors to the centre in Port Aux Basques was down 5.8% whereas Argentia increased 2.5%. The remaining highway centres reported a decrease of 9.7% in the number of visitors. Provincial Historic Sites recorded a successful year with visitation increasing 9%. Cape Bonavista Lighthouse (20,900), the Trinity Interpretation Centre (7,970) and the Beothuk Interpretation Centre at Boyd’s Cove (6,690) were the top three visited sites. Overall, National Historic Sites experienced a drop of 13.5% in the number of visitors with 109,100. While Cabot Tower was the most popular site with 37,360 visitors, L’Anse Aux Meadows welcomed nearly 20,800 visitors, with Cape Spear (visitor centre) following closely at 20,400 visitors. With 90,590 nights sold, camping activity was mixed across the national and provincial parks. Terra Nova (17,500 camping units registered), Butter Pot (13,950) and Barachois Pond (12,000) were the most popular parks. Camping remains a popular activity among residents of the province who accounted for 86% of the camping units registered at the provincial parks. 2014 was a great year for the meetings and conventions sector, with 99 events of at least 50 room nights, down just 5 events from the record of 104 set in 2013. However, the number of delegates was below the record level reached in 2013, down 5.5% to 24,490. Total room nights attributed to the 99 events reached 37,600, down 11% compared to 2013. Overall, the outlook for travel demand in 2015 remains positive, with the United Nations World Travel Organization forecasting that international arrivals will sustain a growth pace of 3 to 4%. If oil prices continue to stay low, a positive impact on travel is expected due to lower transportation costs and a weaker Canadian dollar, boosting both domestic and international travel. Slowing economic growth in Newfoundland and Labrador, combined with lower gasoline prices, could also positively impact resident travel in the province as more residents may stay here for their vacation. For more details on the 2014 provincial tourism performance and additional tourism statistics and research, please visit the Tourism Statistics website at tcr/stats/index.html.


Provincial Tourism Performance 2014




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:

Town of Paradise, NL Paradise is located adjacent to the Town of Conception Bay South, the City of Mount Pearl and the Province’s Capital City, St. John’s. We are minutes from the Trans Canada Highway, Outer Ring Road, and just a short drive from St. John’s International Airport and port facilities. We encourage you to explore our town and everything we have to offer. We have a population of approximately 19,500 and are Atlantic Canada’s Fastest Growing Municipality. Contact us!


ard Program

Inn by the Bay, Dildo At Inn by the Bay, we offer seven guest rooms and the Sea Level Dining Room with specialty meals each evening. We feature off street parking, conversation library, free wifi, cocktails, and a delicious breakfast. We are located in Dildo, a traditional Newfoundland outport, featuring Newfoundland culture and heritage. From our doorstep you can explore the Avalon Peninsula with its many museums, historic sites, boat tours, winery tours, theatres, ocean beaches, archaeological site, and ancient fishing spots. Enjoy the Inn on the oceanfront with service to remember! Contact us!

Harold Snow Service Group, St. John’s We are Atlantic Canada’s largest commercial food equipment parts and service provider. For over 70 years, we’ve been helping you keep your kitchen equipment running and reducing costly downtime. Our philosophy is simple: the best parts and the best people. We use factory-authorized OEM parts and factory-trained service teams so that we get it right the first time and you don’t waste unnecessary time and money. Contact us!



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

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

Town of Carbonear, NL Welcome to our community which is located in Conception Bay North, just 90 km from St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. We offer services and shopping for the region in a beautiful rural setting at the edge of Conception Bay. Contact us!

Serta Mattress Company, Ontario Serta, manufacturer of the World’s Best Mattress, is proud to be the number one mattress manufacturer in the United States and a leading manufacturer worldwide. Contact us!

Norstead Village Inc, St. Anthony The Norstead Viking Village at L’Anse aux Meadows, only 2 kms from the UNESCO World Heritage Viking Site, has been identified as one of Canada’s top ten ‘Hidden Travel Gems’. We are a non-profit organization that was created to take history out of the exhibit case and place it in the hands of visitors. Contact us!

Across the Tickle Tours, Pouch Cove “Across The Tickle Tours” has two great tours to choose from. You can join us on an historical tour of Bell Island or you can enjoy a scenic tour along the Rugged Coastline of the North East Avalon. Have your cameras ready as you never know what you might see! Contact us!

Arluk Outfitters, Corner Brook Arluk Outfitters is a premier hunting destination in Newfoundland, situated on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland in a remote, pristine wilderness valley of the Long Range Mountains. Accessed by helicopter. Main River Lodge is an elegant and spacious world class facility while Arluk Tilt is a cozy, log cabin style lodge that has all the modern conveniences. Contact us!

Frenchie’s Outdoor Shack, Happy Valley-Goose Bay Frenchie’s Outdoor Shack is an Outdoor Recreation Store serving many parts of Labrador. We carry a wide range of products such as Snowmobiles, ATVs, Motorcycles, Boats, Off Road Vehicles, Power Products, Clothing, and Footwear. Brands include Polaris, Yamaha, Arctic Cat, Kawasaki, Lund, Rinker and more! Our Parts and Service Departments are fully stocked and ready to serve you! Contact us!

Dreamcatcher Lodge, Stephenville The Dreamcatcher Lodge is nestled in the west end of Main Street in beautiful and peaceful Stephenville, NL. The DCL is proudly owned and operated by members of the Qalipu First Nations community. Our lodge offers the only fully equipped efficiency units in the town of Stephenville. We strive to provide our guests with value and traditional Newfoundland hospitality. Contact us!


Riverside Suites, Grand Falls-Windsor Riverside Suites is a newly renovated, spacious accommodation in downtown Grand Falls-Windsor. Near the hospital, Sanger walking trail, Gorge Park, and other fine attractions. Contact us!


Superior Quilting, Toronto Superior Quilting is a leading commercial bedding manufacturer with 29 years experience. We offer a comprehensive range of quality made items including an open stock sheeting program, bedspreads, mattress pads and protectors, comforters, duvets, pillows and much more! We provide custom and contract sewing services on site in Toronto! Contact us!


TODD WIGHT NL’s First Certified Hotel General Manager Todd Wight, BBA, CHGM, is Co-Owner and General Manager of the Ocean View Hotel in Rocky Harbour, Gros Morne National Park since 2007. Todd has 20 of years experience in the tourism industry including seven years in the hotel industry and previous positions with Hospitality NL, Gros Morne Gatherings and the NL Outfitters Association. Todd is an active volunteer on a wide number of NL tourism industry boards including Gros Morne Gatherings and the Western NL Destination Management Organization and he currently holds a Hospitality NL Representative


seat on the NL Tourism Board. Todd resides in Rocky


Harbour with his wife Cindy and daughter Jillian.

Todd Wight receives his CHGM certificate from Hospitality NL Chair, Rex Avery.

With two emerit® professional certifications under your belt, including the first Certified Hotel General Manager in Newfoundland and Labrador, what do you feel are the greatest benefits of certification for a tourism professional?

market, both skilled and unskilled workers are very difficult to find and training/certification really increases the employees’ satisfaction with their jobs. emerit® Certification is a major component of our HR retention strategy going forward.

I’d have to say that there are two main benefits to certification from my perspective. First of all, it’s a great validation that you have the knowledge and ability to apply your skills in everyday work situations. The standards are great learning and resource materials and of course were created by peers in the industry so they are very comprehensive when it comes to skill sets and knowledge. Secondly, and especially from a GM perspective, I feel it’s a great way to lead by example in terms of having my team certified at the hotel.

As a long-time member of Hospitality NL, why is it important to be actively involved in the provincial tourism industry network?

Research has shown that businesses who invest in training are estimated to earn an average return of 23% on their investment in the first year after training. What advantages have you seen from investing in training like emerit® certification and WorldHost® Fundamentals for yourself and the staff at the Ocean View Hotel? The investment in training is a must and it always pays dividends. In terms of ROI on training and certification, I’d have to say that the biggest thing is just the increased levels of service satisfaction with guests which leads to more repeat business and positive referrals. Another really big return on the investment has been a high staff retention level. In our

As a business owner, I feel it is absolutely essential to be in tune with the industry. There is always risk when you invest in a business or project but the biggest hedge I can have against that risk is to be involved in the planning/ direction of the industry. The sharing and learning that happens at the provincial and regional tourism board levels is incredible and certainly a key to my success with our business to date. The networking and connections

with industry colleagues create real business opportunities as well. It is certainly an investment in time away from working “in” the business, but I always consider it time spent working “on” the business. What do you think is the biggest issue currently facing the tourism industry? It’s gotta be the shortage of skilled and unskilled workers. We are in rural NL and have been lucky to retain most of our staff for many years. We are finding it difficult to attract skilled positions (cooking, marketing, management) and even finding a very limited pool of unskilled labour available. In chatting with colleagues in similar business models, it is the number one issue we all face. Going forward, we need a strong labour plan for the province and we need to focus on increasing the profile of tourism based occupations.

Newly Certified

Prepare for the busy summer season and train with Hospitality NL With the 2015 summer tourism season just around the corner, now is the ideal time to think about training options or refresher courses for current and returning employees. As the voice of the provincial tourism industry, Hospitality NL is committed to providing operators with a variety of skills and knowledge development opportunities that are relevant, costeffective and designed to keep tourism businesses on the leading edge of industry trends. Hospitality NL also offers occupation-specific training programs that are eligible to receive Canada-NL Job Grant funding. To learn more, please contact Juanita Ford at or 1-800-563-0700.

It’s Good Business Responsible alcohol service training.

WorldHost® Fundamentals An internationally recognized customer service and tourism awareness training program.

emerit® Tourism Training Training and certification programs that are developed by industry, for industry and are recognized as the best training resources available to the tourism and hospitality industry.

Comfort Inn-Gander: Bruce Sparkes, Managing Director, Clayton Hospitality Inc.; Roger Wiertz, Front Desk Agent; Karen Mills, General Manager, Comfort Inn Gander.



St. Jude Hotel: Mary Penney, Housekeeping Room Attendant; Corina Clark, Housekeeping Room Attendant; Chelsea Kohli, Front Desk Agent; Sheila Kelly-Blackmore, General Manager, St. Jude Hotel.

9 May 31-June 6, 2015 is Tourism Week in Canada!

Tourism Week is a national initiative that highlights the impact of travel and tourism in Canada and raises the sector’s profile with policymakers from coast to coast. Throughout the week, tourism organizations, businesses and other partners will organize and engage in a wide variety of local and regional activities and events that showcase the economic impact and social benefits of Canada’s tourism sector for the media, the general public and all three levels of government. It also provides a heightened opportunity to promote tourism products and services ahead of the summer season. To celebrate Tourism Week and to recognize the contribution tourism makes economically and socially to the province, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador would like to collaborate with industry in all regions of the province. Are you planning an event or activity in your town that highlights the amazing tourism offerings we have in Newfoundland and Labrador? If so, let us know! Hospitality NL would love to join forces to spread the word about tourism across the province! Contact Melissa at or 1-800-563-0700 and stay tuned to for upcoming details about Tourism Week.





February 24-26, 2015, Gander, NL



• Based on last year’s feedback, this year’s Conference was moved to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and with 90% of delegates indicating they preferred the event be held on these days, it was a resounding success! • The Social Media Panel was rated among the most valuable sessions at the Conference showing once again that social media continues to rank highly among operator requested training. Delegates also indicated they enjoyed hearing the stories of award recipients and industry champions at the Tourism Excellence Awards Gala. • Delegates liked the revamped Trade Show floor plan with over 90% indicating the Trade Show exceeded or met their expectations. • Networking opportunities and information sessions were the highest ranking reasons to attend Hospitality NL’s Annual Conference and Trade Show.

Reasons delegates attended the 2015 Conference and Trade Show

Invest Differently to Drive New Demand with Nancy Arsenault, Tourism Café; Colleen Kennedy, Gros Morne Cooperating Association and Todd Wight, Ocean View Hotel.


SPEAKERS were EXCELLENT. It would be nice to have concurrent sessions, so attendees can pick a topic most relevant for them.

Networking Opportunities Hospitality NL AGM Keynote Speaker Session Information Sessions Reaching Customers through Online Technology Partners with Elisabeth Stevens, and Andrew Wiens, TripAdvisor; facilitated by Richard Innes, Brain Trust Marketing and Communications.

Trade Show Sector Meetings


Social Functions 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

sessions. Applicable to my business.

The Social Media Panel with Lyle Wetsch and Terri Coles; facilitated by Hospitality NL Board Member, Dion Finlay.

S’et A’newey Drummers & Chanters perform during the Tourism Professional Development Luncheon.

Delegates attend an information session at the Arts & Culture Centre.

Vision 2020 Milestone Evaluation and Town Hall. SPRING 2015

Hospitality NL Chair, Rex Avery, addresses members at Hospitality NL’s Annual General Meeting.

MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE would be nice. I had trouble accessing the drop-down menus from your navigation bar on my iPhone.


Premier Davis addresses delegates at the Provincial Tourism Luncheon.

Delegates enjoy Fun Night at the North Atlantic Aviation Museum. Delegates and Exhibitors network in the Trade Show.

Members and partners help Kick-Off the Conference with a live performance!

I would like to hear from the airlines and airports that we


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

Uncommon Recognition!


During the Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Excellence Awards Gala held in Gander on February 26th, a number of western Newfoundland’s finest were recognized for their contributions to the tourism industry.


The awards were presented to the following western Newfoundland recipients: • Ocean View Hotel (Rocky Harbour) – Were awarded the H. Clayton Sparks Accommodator of the Year Award. Receiving the award in person on behalf of the Ocean View Hotel was Mr. Todd Wight. This award recognizes an individual or company in the accommodations sector within the province who exhibits a dedication to quality service, a commitment to the tourism industry and makes a solid contribution to the communities in which they live. • Bonne Bay Marine Station (Norris Point) – Were awarded the Sustainable Tourism Award. Receiving the award in person on

L-R: Todd Wight, Ian Stone, Verbon Hewlin, Jackie Chow, Mark Lamswood, Robert Scott

behalf of the Bonne Bay Marine Station was Dr. Robert Scott. The award is presented to the industry operator who has made strides in sustainable tourism practices and continually works toward the protection of our natural and cultural resources. • Gros Morne Co-operating Association (Rocky Harbour) – Were awarded the JAC Tourism Champion Award. Receiving the award in person and on behalf of the organization was Mr. Ian Stone. This award recognizes long term contributions to the tourism industry. • Corner Brook Port Corporation (Corner Brook) – Were awarded the Cruise Vision Award. Receiving the award in person on behalf of the Corner Brook Port Corporation

When life’s a beach.

was Mrs. Jackie Chow and Mr. Verbon Hewlin. The Cruise Vision Award is presented by the Cruise Association of Newfoundland and Labrador to an individual, group or business that has demonstrated a commitment to the provincial cruise industry and has contributed significantly to the growth of the cruise industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. The board and staff of the Western Destination Management Organization (aka. Go Western Newfoundland) extend their sincerest congratulations to these (and all) award winners and all of the strong Western Newfoundland nominees who submitted in other categories.


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Summer is just around the corner, and we are looking forward to a season filled with scenes such as this one captured from Cook’s Lookout Trail on the Burin Peninsula.

Looking Forward to an Exciting 2015

We would like to congratulate Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, its directors, and staff for another fantastic convention and trade show in Gander. It was an excellent event, where we saw so much optimism from those in attendance. It has definitely inspired us for the coming year! We would like to congratulate all Tourism Excellence Award winners, particularly our member Wooden Boat Museum of NL and

our partner Eastlink TV! We are excited to report that, working with our resource implementation team of Tourism Board partners, we are moving forward with implementation of our Destination Development Plan. As part of the implementation phase of our plan, we hosted four Opportunity Management sessions with stakeholders in our region to prioritize several key initiatives identified from the

recommendations. A huge thank you to our facilitators Michelle Power and Brent Decker of BTCRD who provided exceptional guidance in the process. Thank you to the entire implementation team and to our members and stakeholders and directors for your input. We are all excited to be moving forward. On a go forward, LCEN has included several DDP priorities in its work plan. We invite you, our partners and tourism industry stakeholders to engage in this exciting process with us. Over the coming months please watch for our newsletters and emails as we seek your input and engagement in increasing opportunities for enhancing our visitor experiences and growing and expanding our industry. We are in the midst of the “show season”, having already attended the Boston Globe Travel Show in February. Coming up, we have the Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show, Saltscapes Expo in Halifax, Canada Media Marketplace in New York, and Rendezvous Canada in Niagara Falls. Also, for the first time ever, we will be bringing over a dozen members with us to the Downhome Expo in Mount Pearl, as we engage the resident market like never before. Please visit Wishing you a very successful tourism season!

Submitted by: Janelle Hickey, Marketing Coordinator & Amy Kavanagh, Sales Coordinator Destination St. John’s

A First Timers Look at the HNL Conference Janelle As a first time delegate attending the Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador Conference, I reviewed my schedule and made note of the sessions that I thought would be most beneficial. As one session lead into another, I discovered that there was something to learn even from those discussions outside my field – perhaps even more so. As Marketing Coordinator with Destination St. John’s, I was most looking forward to Lyle Wetsch’s discussion on Digital Marketing. While he spoke generally on the topic, I walked away eager to learn more and since then have

helped create a forum where like-minded digital media professionals in the industry can share ideas, ask questions and stay abreast of changes in the digital landscape. Attending the HNL AGM was also a highlight - the lively discussion regarding the Tourism Marketing Levy opened my eyes to the importance of HNL’s role as an advocate for its members. In the end I walked away with a wealth of knowledge and a clearer understanding of the industry I work in - a quintessential experience for any new delegate. Amy

Having never been to the HNL conference I was both excited and nervous; excited to soak up the knowledge from the speakers and panelists, and nervous that we wouldn’t

be able to keep up with the jam packed schedule and the conference veterans! While there was a lot of good material to take in during the sessions, much learning was done outside the conference classroom. The trade show floor, luncheons and the social events provided excellent networking opportunities. We not only learned about the industry we work in, but more about the people who are making it all happen! As the Sales Coordinator, I am often calling and emailing our tourism partners, but it was so nice to finally put a face to many of the names that are frequently in my inbox! Future interactions will now seem all that more personal. The networking was a great opportunity to meet people from across the province, and to get to know some of our familiar colleagues a little better.


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


Maximize your Membership Make the most of technology with Hospitality NL and

Hospitality NL Board of Directors Rex Avery Dion Finlay Helena Lawlor Kelly Finlay Kathie Hicks Darlene Thomas              Colleen Kennedy             Wayne Hallett                   Scott Hillyer Peter Antle                       

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

(Full board contact information available at

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

Head Office

As a tourism operator, are you taking full advantage of the technology and communications options that are available in today’s online world? Perhaps you would like to refresh your website or explore the world of social media or blogging? If any of these things apply to you, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, a strategic partner on the TourismTechnology. com project in Atlantic Canada, would like to help you build your technology plan to optimize your business practices. The program aims to improve the competitiveness of Atlantic Canada’s tourism industry by advancing the industry’s adoption, awareness and engagement of online technologies. In addition to workshops and webinars focusing on a range of topics that are relevant to tourism operators, Hospitality NL offers technology mentoring sessions that provide one-on-one customized guidance to operators so that they may evolve and adapt their strategies and tactics to maximize their online presence. Workshops, webinars and mentoring sessions are available at an advanced, intermediate and basic level and focus on providing the tourism industry with the knowledge and tools required to truly understand and utilize online technologies. Stay tuned for announcements of upcoming learning opportunities! If you would like to learn more about and how you can participate in this program, please contact Hospitality NL’s Manager of Membership/Networking and Technology, Craig Foley.

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is working for you! Reach out to your membership team: Craig Foley, Jessica Greenwood and Tania Heath, to learn how to get the most out of your membership with Hospitality NL.

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:

Manager of Membership/Networking and Technology, Craig Foley, delivers a technology workshop at the Provincial Craft Wholesale Show. 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


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spring 2015

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



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Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador congratulates the following recipients of the 2015 Tourism Excellence Awards: Accommodator of the Year Ocean View Hotel Rocky Harbour, NL Tourism Champion of the Year Gros Morne Co-operating Association Rocky Harbour, NL Corporate Partner of the Year Eastlink TV Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Innovator of the Year  Shorefast Foundation/Fogo Island Shop Fogo Island, NL Tourism Business of the Year Fogo Island Inn Fogo Island, NL

Recognizing individuals and organizations that rank among the most innovative and passionate in the tourism industry, the Tourism Excellence Awards are presented yearly during Hospitality NL’s Annual Conference and Trade Show.

Other award recipients honoured during Hospitality NL’s Conference and Trade Show include: Cultural Tourism Award: Wooden Boat Museum of NL Winterton, NL Sustainable Tourism Award: Bonne Bay Marine Station & Aquarium Norris Point, NL Doug Wheeler Award: Joe & Loyola O’Brien O’Brien’s Whale and Bird Tours Bay Bulls, NL Restaurateur of the Year Award: Chefs Shaun Hussey & Michelle LeBlanc Chinched Bistro St. John’s, NL Cruise Vision Award: Corner Brook Port Corporation Corner Brook, NL

Tourism Times - Spring 2015  

Newsletter of the Tourism Industry Association of Newfoundland & Labrador

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