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Newsletter of the Tourism Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador


Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board Enters the Half-way Mark of Vision 2020 L-R, Back Row: Jane Pardy, Hospitality NL representative; Joanne Smyth, Director, Community Development, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, NL Office; Carmen Hancock, Destination Labrador representative; Wayne Hallett, Adventure Central Newfoundland representative; Larry Laite, Destination St. John’s representative; Marieke Gow, Legendary Coasts of Eastern Newfoundland representative; Todd Wight, Hospitality NL representative; Rex Avery, Chair, Hospitality NL. L-R, Front Row: Rita Malone, Assistant Deputy Minister (Regional Development/Business Analysis), Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development; Barry Rogers, Chair, NL Tourism Board; Carmela Murphy, Assistant Deputy Minister, Tourism and Culture, Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development. Missing from photo: Alastair O’Rielly, Deputy Minister, Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development; Steve Denty, Hospitality NL representative; Ed English, Go Western NL representative.





As I was transferring my old, half-completed to-do list over to a new, neater, organized todo list, it struck me how rarely I ever get to tie a nice big bow around my to-do list and say that it is 100% complete. Perhaps this happens quite regularly for some people or for specific projects but never for the Master list. For me, the “Master” list encompasses everything in both the short and long term, so it stands to reason that before each item can be scratched off, new things are added or old things evolve. As a result, the list becomes a maze of pen marks and hen scratches driving me to inevitably create a new, more organized list instead of ever getting to complete the original one. This idea of reaching ‘Complete’ means a lot to me in my role at Hospitality NL and it is what motivates me every day. With our provincial mandate and broad base of members and partners, striving for ‘Complete’ is striving to achieve the priorities of the provincial tourism industry, which is in essence my Master to-do list. And because this Master list of priorities is for a long-term vision, it is generally a bit of a wait to finally be able to put a checkmark on a task and say that it is fully done. For instance, what would have to happen for us to say that Hospitality NL no longer needs to advocate for competitive provincial tourism marketing investment or a sustainable, reliable transportation system?! Both of these are far too critical in their importance to tourism for us to think that we will soon reach a stage where we can ever say ‘Complete’! Another ‘Complete’ that I strive for is to have a complete picture of the provincial tourism industry. The years of working with operators from all of the various sectors of the industry and from all regions has endowed me with a phenomenal understanding of tourism, this place, our people, tourism priorities, its potential and all of the other moving parts that make up a successful tourism industry. But I have determined that I may never be able to say that I have the ‘Complete’ picture of tourism. Why?

Because the second I wrap a bow around it, there is something new entering into the mix… whether that is a new product or experience that becomes available, an existing product changes or closes, a new competitor comes along or the environment around us changes so that we are no longer working with the same game pieces... regardless of the reason, tourism is a living, breathing thing made up of such diverse players and parts that it is forever evolving in front of our eyes. One of the other ‘Completes’ we strive for at Hospitality NL is to provide our members, tourism operators and suppliers, with a complete picture of the business environment they are working in and, most importantly, the complete list of support organizations and peers around them that can help them be more successful. Business owners in tourism have potential partners around them that can help lighten their load. Those operators who understand the role of organizations like Hospitality NL, DMOs and other government and non-profit agencies, understand that all the challenges they face are not theirs alone. They do not have to invest their time and energy into finding and implementing the solutions to all of their problems. By partnering with others, such as other tourism operators and industry associations and making connections with government or municipal leaders, it adds their voice to the problems and solutions but it is often someone else’s role to complete the task. The need to continuously promote the supports and resources available to tourism operators was reinforced loudly and clearly during the destination development process. With so many operators gathering together to participate in the planning sessions, I heard time after time the phrase “we had to learn the hard way”. I heard stories of operators, who implemented initiatives in their businesses that ended up setting them back, impeding their progress, or were hard lessons on the road to success. Upon hearing this, another operator would inevitably say: “Well, I could have told you how that would end, we made the same mistake”. Why were these two operators getting together after instead of before the mistake had to happen? Hospitality NL’s upcoming conference in February will be the largest gathering of tourism operators and support organizations in the province for the year. Will the complete tourism industry be there? No, but all of the necessary parts will be! The individuals who will participate in the conference know that they are a part of a whole, and that they need to be at the conference to learn new things, maintain relationships and build new ones to help achieve even greater things for themselves, their businesses, communities and the industry. I can honestly say that the tourism operators that I have met in my time in the industry have been the hardest working, most passionate, creative, committed and dynamic

personalities that there are in the world! They have broad business acumen and innovatively work around the barriers that surround them so that they can build a successful tourism business despite the challenges that exist. But even those people will admit that ‘they didn’t know what they didn’t know’ until they started engaging with Hospitality NL, other tourism operators or some other support organization in tourism. If you are one of those operators who have not yet turned the corner on what the power of a network like Hospitality NL can do for you, I would recommend you find someone who has and talk to them. Attending the conference is an easy way to turn the corner. No one is alone in the tourism industry unless they choose to be. When you decide to take the step, you will be welcomed with open arms and develop lifelong allies who will work hard and diligently for you. Complete is defined as ‘total’, ‘whole’, and ‘having all the necessary parts to the greatest extent possible’. No one organization in tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador will be responsible for our success as a provincial tourism destination…nor will two organizations or a small group of them together make this place the sustainable destination of choice we want it to be. It is only when the ‘whole’ walks in the same direction, playing their own individual roles but working in tandem with others towards the same vision that we will even get a glimpse of Complete for Vision 2020. So, what does all this mean to the type A, list-creating, outcome-driven person that I have become?? Well, I think my perspective on what ‘Complete’ looks like has changed, just as everything else in life evolves as you gain more insight. None of us are alone in striving for ‘Complete’ in our Master lists. We complete each other. Sometimes, it just takes a leap of faith to trust that if we work hard, give it our all and make a meaningful contribution, we will find ‘Complete’ in whatever form it comes to us. See you at the Conference!

Carol-Ann Gilliard CEO, Hospitality NL @CAGilliard

NL tourism stakeholders attending TIAC conference

As I approach the half-way mark in my term as Chair of Hospitality NL, I am struck by how quickly the year has gone by. Before I begin to tackle my to-do list for the year ahead, I would like to take a brief look back at this past year. Many of you reading this message know that I am in the hotel business so it is only fitting that perhaps another hotelier, Conrad Hilton, best summed up my past year when he once said, “Success is never final; failure is never fatal”. I’m sure Mr. Hilton could appreciate my last twelve months; in addition to my regular professional duties, this past year kept me busy overseeing the construction and opening of a new hotel. The process from breaking ground to opening doors is not one for those easily daunted. There were electricians, carpenters, plumbers, painters, and other numerous specialized parties who had to work together, as each was dependent on the other’s work to accomplish their task, and inch by inch, move the project forward and closer to the opening. The path to the opening was far from without hiccups: delays occurred, miscommunications took place, workers left and new ones were hired, the list goes on and on but at the end of the day, if I really wanted the hotel to open, the only option was to put my head down, dig deeper, and work harder to overcome the challenges posed by that list. And with each hiccup that was presented, I was faced with acknowledging

my strengths and my ‘not so strong areas’ in which I needed to call upon others for assistance...and as I kept my eyes firmly fixed on the end goal, the importance of teamwork, strong leadership and tough decisions became more and more obvious to me. The similarities between constructing a hotel and establishing a path to sustained prosperity for our provincial tourism industry have not gone unnoticed by me: both require a solid foundation in order to support future growth; both require tough decisions that cannot meet the needs of all parties but rather, ones that will produce the biggest gains for the greater good; and both, to be quite frank, require a tremendous amount of work and dedication that must be embraced by all stakeholders involved. And not to be overlooked is the fact that both require strong leadership. Our provincial tourism industry established a 10 year path towards its Vision and it too, like my term as Chair of Hospitality NL, has now reached its halfway mark. If all stakeholders in our Vision are honest, they would likely agree that even the best laid plans can go awry and most certainly never perfectly according to schedule; however, the true test of our will can be found in how we navigate those curves in the path that are tossed our way and how we work together to overcome our challenges and move closer to our goal of doubling annual tourism revenues by 2020. So, how do we measure up at our half-way mark to Vision 2020? Despite challenges thrown our way, we have crossed the billion dollar threshold, welcomed more than half a million visitors yearly to our beautiful province and we are responsible for 8 percent of provincial jobs. Not too shabby; however, there is much to be done between now and 2020... 2015 offers an incredible opportunity to ensure the challenges that are faced by our industry receive the priority attention they deserve and facilitate achievement of our goal. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will head to the voting polls twice this year and before doing so, I ask all tourism stakeholders to share

with those running for public office the incredible benefits our industry offers to our province and its people and what must be addressed, both on a provincial and national level, in order to realize those benefits. The next governments elected will lead us to 2020 with the decisions and investments made by those future officials an undeniable factor in our success or failure. Tourism offers one of the best economic diversification opportunities available and it is up to us to ensure we live up to our potential. Like an opening of a new hotel, the approaching date of 2020 must be kept in mind but not to the exclusion of ignoring the current path we are on and the ‘construction’ being completed. We have established a solid foundation and the initiatives being rolled out at this mid-way point are keeping us on the right track and headed in the right direction and I believe if we continue to work together, that path will lead us to success. So, how do I think I measure up at my half-way mark? I will leave that to our members to decide but I will say that this past year has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding and I am thankful for this opportunity. These past twelve months have reinforced my belief that, with hard work and a strong support team, great success can follow failed plans. I have received tremendous support from members and my fellow Board members this past year and I am grateful for it. Looking ahead there is much to accomplish and much to be addressed, but I am eager to tackle that to-do list. Most important for any leader, of any organization, is their support team and with the strength and passion that is evident in tourism operators across the province, I am confident, together, we will work hard to ensure the biggest gains possible for all in the year ahead.

Rex Avery Chair, Hospitality NL @HNLChair





Reach Out and Engage: The Power of Social Media Provided by: Jeff LeGrow at Cal LeGrow Insurance Limited To say that social media is a growing trend for businesses would be an understatement. You have likely heard of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms, and perhaps you use them in your personal life. Social media platforms have developed into powerful tools for business, and they can be used to great advantage or neglected at your peril. No Boundaries: Social media influences the way people communicate about your business. Word of mouth has no barriers with social networks—the possibilities for spreading content, ideas and opinions are nearly endless. Social media creates influence and scale in a way traditional media simply cannot, for a fraction of the cost. The impact of social media is boundless.


Already There: Even if you’re not present on social media platforms, people are most likely already talking about your company on social media. You want to be part of that conversation. • If they’re saying good things, you’re missing opportunities to highlight and share the positive feedback. • If they’re sharing negative comments, you want to address it in a timely manner, controlling potential damage to your reputation. • Social media gives you new opportunities to connect with current and prospective customers and clients.


The Marketing Impact: Social media is not just a channel of communication with individual customers; it also plays a role in marketing. Marketing is no longer about pushing information at people, but about having a conversation. People want to participate, have a voice and know that their opinions are heard. To market effectively, two-way communication through social media should be a part of your strategy. Social media marketing helps you reach a wider audience—people want to watch videos and read interesting information that they can share on Facebook or Twitter. Your Competitors: A social media presence will give you the critical advantage of watching your competitors. You can follow your competitors’ social media marketing campaigns and note what issues they are dealing with, including positive or negative feedback from their customers. If your competitors already have established social media presences, you don’t want to be left behind. With a growing number of people using social media, you don’t want to miss making a sale because it was easier for customers to find a competitor.

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Recruitment Tool: Recruiting is another area where social media can be incredibly beneficial for your company. Many of today’s job seekers have expanded beyond traditional job boards and career fairs. Social media is used as a tool to find job opportunities. Incorporating social media into your recruiting strategy allows you to draw from a unique pool of candidates, increasing your odds of finding the best fit. Internal Communication: Employee communication is another area that can be expanded or improved through social media usage. Social media is a great way to enhance your employee communication strategy with minimal added cost. For example: • Connect with employees on social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, in order to expand your reach beyond the usual email, bulletin boards and newsletters. • Share health and wellness tips to help employees and their families live healthier lifestyles, which can boost your wellness program initiatives. • Provide important information and updates in a quick, accessible manner. Entering the World of Social Media: Producing great content to be shared is the basis of social media engagement, especially when used for marketing campaigns. However, quality content for social media posts and blog articles can be difficult to consistently create, and presenting that valuable information in an interesting or entertaining manner might be a challenge. To attract readers and encourage sharing and engagement with your business, you have to present fresh ideas in a well-written, concise format. You need to: • Find a good source of ideas and information. • Write your articles and posts ahead of time so you can always stick to your posting schedule—for most social media platforms, you should be posting content weekly, daily or even hourly. • Acquire the know-how to navigate the intricacies of a virtual world. • Familiarize yourself with how each platform works, and start slowly. Begin with one, such as Facebook or Twitter, and then gradually expand your presence as you gain experience and expertise. • Devote sufficient time to monitoring your social media accounts for comments and feedback that should be addressed right away. © 2014 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.


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2014 Advocacy at a Glance Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is the voice of the provincial tourism industry. 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. Representing industry on the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board, as well as with respect to the federal and provincial governments, Hospitality NL strives to ensure the interests of our members are considered. With $1 Billion in annual spending, 2,400 tourism-related businesses and organizations and 8 percent of provincial jobs directly attributed to tourism, it is an essential industry in 2015. It is also essential for elected officials to be informed about the importance of the tourism industry to our communities, the current value of the tourism industry and the public policy initiatives that can be taken to ensure the tourism sector continues to grow and prosper well into the future. Click on the link below for a summary of key issues and messages that can be discussed with prospective candidates and elected officials.

led by those expected to implement the levy and that room levies should be industry led, focused and managed, with monies collected re-invested back into tourism marketing and development. Hospitality NL continues to work with stakeholders across the province to ensure the Department of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs and Municipalities NL are aware of the tourism industry’s concerns and position regarding this issue.

Tourism Advocacy Communiqué

Marine Mammal Regulations – The Government of Canada is seeking feedback on proposed amendments to the Marine Mammal Regulations (MMR). While the MMR currently prohibit the disturbance of marine mammals, the proposed modifications would further define “disturb”, introduce a minimum approach distance/separation gap of 100m between vehicles (including vessels) and marine mammals as well as include a provision that requires the immediate reporting to DFO of any accidental contact with a marine mammal. Upon learning of this initiative, Hospitality NL expressed concern to Fisheries and Oceans Canada regarding the consultative process and the limited consultation which took place locally leading to the proposed amendments and asked that the deadline to provide feedback and comments be extended and that a meeting with representatives and provincial marine-based tourism operators be held in NL. Hospitality NL received a 30 business day extension and notification that a meeting request was approved. Hospitality NL will continue to work with tourism stakeholders in NL and across the country to achieve a balance that recognizes the importance of stewardship and ensures the conservation and protection of marine wildlife.

Protection of Gros Morne National Park – Upon learning of the proposed project and its associated risks in late 2012, Hospitality NL voiced concerns and in partnership with tourism stakeholders, urged for a comprehensive analysis of all long-term impacts of proposed hydraulic fracturing to be conducted. In November 2013, the Government of NL announced a temporary moratorium on fracking. In August 2014, the Provincial Government announced it would establish a panel to undertake an independent review of hydraulic fracturing in western Newfoundland. In October 2014 panel members were announced. Hospitality NL supports an independent review and has expressed concern over the need for representation from the tourism industry on the panel and for tourism to be factored prominently in the Scope of the Review into the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing. Hospitality NL understands the importance of the potential economic spinoffs that may be seen as a result of the project; however, a balanced approach must be taken between such developments and the protection of natural tourism assets in our province that enhance the quality of life for residents and serve as the foundation of other revenue-generating industries. Room levies – As government and municipalities work together towards a new fiscal framework, Hospitality NL, along with tourism operators across NL, is concerned over the possible use of room levies as revenue sources to fund local governments and the services they deliver. While Hospitality NL fully supports a reasonable and sustainable municipal revenue framework that facilitates quality local services, the industry’s position is that any levies decided upon in any jurisdiction should be

In the coming year, Hospitality NL will continue to work with stakeholders to address these and other policy issues that impact tourism. Industry consultation and feedback from operators is crucial to Hospitality NL’s policy and advocacy efforts and we encourage members to make sure their voice is heard. Learn more about our policy priorities online or contact Hospitality NL’s Manager of Policy and Communications, Leslie Rossiter.

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Other prominent policy initiatives for Hospitality NL in 2014 were issues such as: Changes in the structure of tourism at the provincial government and competitive provincial tourism marketing investment – In September 2014, provincial departmental restructuring included the merging of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation with the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development to form the new Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development. This change came as a surprise to the tourism industry as there had been no indication that such a significant restructuring was being considered. Hospitality NL is committed to ensuring, as the two departments continue to merge, critical tourism investments, services and supports are sustained and the tourism industry continues to receive stable, consistent and prioritized attention that it requires to achieve our collective vision including a competitive provincial tourism marketing investment.

Unlicensed accommodations – There are significant concerns associated with unlicensed accommodations, including Airbnb, as they often do not fall under any of the regulatory, legal, taxation, health and safety or insurance laws that licensed accommodators do and consequently, they have the potential to negatively impact Newfoundland and Labrador’s reputation as a premiere tourism destination. With more than 2,400 tourism businesses that are operating in the spirit of legitimate competition in NL, it is essential that this issue be addressed and Hospitality NL will continue to work with its partners to identify solutions.


MEMBER PROFILES 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: Three Sisters Pub & Restaurant, Placentia


Take a heritage saltbox building from the late 1800s, put it on the waterfront in Placentia, one of NL’s most historic towns. Add hearty pub fare and a wellstocked bar built from repurposed church pews. Combine with the energy of a bustling local community, a rich musical heritage, and a love of good times and good friends. You’ve now created The Three Sisters, one of TripAdvisor’s best restaurants in NL! Contact us!


Karlande Designs Ltd., Clarenville

We are a jewellery design and manufacturing company located in Clarenville. Our ‘Gems from the Sea’ feature beautiful pieces of beach glass jewellery. We also customdesign jewellery for individual clients, fundraising opportunities and corporate gifting. We produce unique jewellery pieces that help wearers show their connection to an important person, cause, or place. Contact us!

Brookside RV Park and Golf Resort, Hatchet Cove

Established in 2009 under new management, Brookside Golf Resort & RV Park is a Par 36, 2987 yard, 9 hole course with a practice green, a state of the art Modern New Club House, Pro Shop, Eagle’s Nest Restaurant, Paddy Pub/Bar & Lounge, located in beautiful Hatchet Cove. This family-operated course offers a true taste of Newfoundland hospitality matched with a fun and challenging game of golf. We offer 30 amp service, three way hook-up, showers, washrooms, convenience store, fire pits, & tables. Contact us!

Home from the Sea, Elliston

Home from The Sea, John C. Crosbie Sealers Interpretation Centre provides visitors the opportunity to learn about and reflect on the history of sealing and sealers as their stories are brought to life through artifacts, art and multimedia. Just a short walk from the centre, you will find the memorial statue depicting a father and son in embrace and the sealers monument. Contact us!

Ron Butler Agency, St. John’s

We have a wide range of furniture, fabrics, wall-coverings and carpet in various styles and prices... whether it is for a budget Motel, Convention Hotel, Resort, or Retirement Home. Our talented staff will work with you to find the right furniture and accent pieces. Whether you come to us with a complete vision for your home or business, or come to us looking for inspiration, we are here to help. Contact us!

TPI – Tweet’s Travel (Helena Lawlor), St. John’s

After 40+ years in the Hotel Industry, I recently retired and decided to begin a new adventure. I purchased my own business, a home-based Travel Agency. I am an independent owner, affiliated with Travel Professionals International (TPI), Canada’s largest and leading network of independent travel advisors. I have booked families and couples on everything from cruises to Walt Disney World to romantic, all-inclusive resorts! I can help find that special holiday for clients and look forward to the opportunity to work with my friends in the tourism industry. Contact me!

Elizabeth Burry Studios, St. John’s/Trinity

Elizabeth Burry Studios creates colorful Newfoundland and Labrador “Artscapes” paintings, which are some of the most popular “take aways” at Mirabella, her seasonal Trinity Artisan gift shop. Elizabeth also designs beautiful Strung Out by Elizabeth Burry  jewelry pieces incorporating Labradorite and other semi precious stones and findings. Corporate and wholesale inquires welcome. Contact us!

Echo Fresh, St. John’s

Echo Fresh is a social media agency that helps brands tell a better story and grow their social media presence. Sign up for our free social media assessment today at viasocial/EchoFresh or contact us!


2015 CONFERENCE TRADE SHOW February 24-26, 2015, Gander, NL

A rapidly changing world means rapidly changing consumer behaviors, preferences and expectations. Tourism services, attractions and destinations that are aware of these evolving customer patterns and adapt their strategies and operations will maintain their competitive edge and grow demand for their products and experiences.

The program will offer delegates insight into how they can adapt their organizations to these changes. Topics will include: • Changing consumer behaviour and who exactly the ‘customer’ is in 2015 and beyond • Adapting branding and marketing strategies • Building innovative customer experiences that drive demand • Reaching customers through online technology partners • Increasing your competitive edge in your community

Provincial Tourism LUNCHEON

Tourism represents one of the best economic diversification opportunities available and Hospitality NL is looking forward to having Premier Davis address delegates during the Provincial Tourism Luncheon and share his thoughts on our industry and its future role in growing the economy.

Corporate Sponsor, Provincial Airlines, in the 2014 Trade Show.

Trade SHOW

Hospitality NL has a new and improved Trade Show Floorplan! This is the premier tourism trade show in Newfoundland and Labrador where suppliers can capture the attention of a diverse group of tourism stakeholders.

KEYNOTE Speaker John Young is a Customer Service/Sales and Consumer Behavior Expert and Certified Business Counselor who has provided consulting to over 300 successful wide-ranging organizations including industry leaders, up-andcoming powerhouses and entrepreneurs. Mr. Young will open the Conference by sharing his insight on how to create the ultimate customer experience sought by travellers. This session will help tourism operators across the province plan and deliver world-class encounters while ensuring their competitive edge in a rapidly changing environment.

Bruce Sparkes presents the 2014 H. Clayton Sparkes Accommodator of the Year Award to the Fogo Island Inn.

Tourism Excellence AWARDS GALA

Join us as we celebrate the best of the best in the industry during the Tourism Excellence Awards Gala on Thursday night! This event marks the end of the Conference and Trade Show and you do not want to miss it.

Wednesday FUN NIGHT

This is your chance to enjoy the company of your tourism friends and colleagues and have some fun. The Gander Host Committee always shows us a great time on Fun Night so keep an eye out for details in the coming weeks!

Delegates embraced the 70s theme during Fun Night last year!



Hospitality NL’s 2015 Conference and Trade Show will empower tourism services, attractions and destinations with the information, tools and supports they need to both understand and adapt to changing customer patterns and consumer behavior.


There’s no “I” in team


Barry Rogers

Submitted by: Barry Rogers, Chair, Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism Board


Leadership. This is a word I take very seriously. As Chair of the NL Tourism Board, I am responsible for leading the Board through the implementation of Vision 2020. But as the leader of this pursuit, I rely upon the dedication and commitment of so many more leaders to help me see the way.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board, like many other industry Boards and committees, is made up of leaders that bring knowledge and dedication to the cause each and every time they attend a meeting, read a briefing note, or have a conversation with a stakeholder. They are my eyes and ears, without whom I would never be able to understand all the nuances that ensure we are successful. On the surface, my success or failure rests in my ability to lead this group. But underneath, it rests in my ability to listen to the leaders that surround and inform me. I understand that the leadership they provide, whether it comes from our government or industry partners, helps paint the big picture of what we have accomplished and what we have left to overcome. To be effective leaders, we have to embrace the idea that we cannot be all things to all people. Understanding our individual mandates and strengths in how we serve and develop the industry plays a critical role in how we move forward. Our ability to focus and take leadership of the

tasks we are responsible for will enable us to better utilize our resources and in the end, get more done. The tourism industry has been blessed with a network of supporting partners that all want to see the industry thrive. Not all partners sit at the Tourism Board table, but I assure you, they all play a role, and those that do sit at the Tourism Board table know it. There is room for each and every partner to play a leadership role. The work that each and every group does in the name of tourism has value and by aligning our efforts, we don’t have to re-invent the wheel and most importantly, we don’t have to compete for it. Alignment gives us the opportunity to know who is in charge of each wheel and the ability to rely on each other while we focus on our own. Alignment is important in determining what everyone does, but it is also important in determining what nobody does. Identifying what industry needs and the gaps in the service provision of those needs indicates a leadership role that has not been embraced. And, in a time of so many leaders doing so many great things, having something fall off the table is just not an option. As we examine our roles, I encourage you to consider where you need to lead but also where you need to support. While we all have a role in training, advocacy, product development or marketing, to name a few, very often, the best role we can play is in our support of the leader. It takes a lot of time and commitment to lead but it takes a great deal of effort to support. I look forward to continuing our work with all of you, our leaders of industry. In moving towards 2020, I know you have my back, but rest assured, I also have yours. See you on the next tide,

Leaders of the NL Tourism Board meet with The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

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

Trends in Non-Resident Auto Visitation to Newfoundland and Labrador

Annual Auto and Air Visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador, 1994 to 2013* 390,000 340,000 290,000 240,000 190,000 140,000 90,000



*Air visitor estimates for 2011-2013 not directly comparable to previous years due to different 2011 Exit Survey methodology. Auto visitor estimates are not impacted by this change. Source: Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

Over the past 20 years, non-resident auto visitation has been impacted by external events resulting in many spikes and declines in overall performance. Service improvements implemented by Marine Atlantic, including the introduction of the MV Caribou in 1986 and the MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood in 1989, significantly improved auto access to the province. By 1995, non-resident auto visitation reached over 118,000, a significant increase from 90,600 in 1985. The “pre-Cabot” year of 1996 registered a decline of 7%, which can in part be attributed to delayed travel in anticipation of Cabot year in 1997 when 122,500 auto visitors arrived in the province (+12%). Starting in 1997, the province experienced steady growth in non-resident automobile visitation for 4 years at an average annual rate of 7%, with visitor numbers climbing to 150,000 by 2000. Growth during this period can in part be attributed to the increased awareness of the province created by the Cabot year celebrations. In the months before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, automobile visitation to the province had already

started to drop compared to the previous year, declining 8% during January to August period. This decrease was likely the result of the most serious economic slowdown in 20 years that had occurred in most areas of the world since the beginning of 2001, with the US entering a recession in March and its fallout affecting other regions, including Canada. After the September 11th attacks, non-resident automobile visitation to the province peaked in 2002 with nearly 161,500 visitors, an increase of 14% over 2001 and 8% over the previous high of 150,000 visitors only two years earlier. As fears of air travel eased, auto visitation in 2003 returned to pre-9/11 levels, starting a declining trend that has been continuing throughout the decade that followed. While the province has recorded three “up years” since 2003, 2014 marks the fifth straight year of declining auto visitation. The decline can be attributed to a number of reasons – some with a “one-time” or short-term impact and some signifying longer-term trends. These include airlines’ discounts to recover business after 9/11, fluctuating / increasing retail gas prices, fare increases on Marine Atlantic, including double-digit fuel surcharges, ferry service interruptions, economic downturns, a general movement away from auto travel and significantly improved air access to the province. The most recent “spike” in auto visitation occurred in 2009 during the global economic recession, highlighting how external events impact established trends and create new ones (the increased focus of travellers on ‘value for money’ is one of them). Furthermore, with the outmigration of residents to Alberta over the past decade, the VFR5 market – traditionally a strong drive segment – has changed. Results from the province’s Exit Surveys show that during the peak season May to October6 the proportion of VFR travellers to the province by auto has decreased from 32% in 2004 to 23% in 2011. Similar trends – a shift from travelling by auto to travelling by air to the province – can also be seen in the vacation travel segment, with an increased share of travellers from more distant origin markets. And as is true for Canada overall, the impacts of the recent recession are still being felt with a decline in travellers to the province from the US – also a traditionally strong drive market. The decline in auto travel to the province has been a phenomenon for quite some time now; however, gains in air travel have ensured continuous growth in non-resident visitation. Since 2009, when the province started on its journey to implement Vision 2020, there have been vast improvements in both the Marine Atlantic ferry service and air access, ensuring that potential visitors have a variety of travel choices that meet their budgets and time considerations. Regardless of how travellers choose to come to this province, their perceptions and memories of Newfoundland and Labrador are more likely to be shaped by their experiences “on the ground” – their encounters with our people, their stays at our hotels, their adventures along our coasts and their ‘face-to-faces’ with our nature.

In 2010 (most recent year available) Source: The Economic Contributions of Tourism Spending in Newfoundland and Labrador (2012), Department of Finance, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council, June 2014 This figure does not include non-resident visitation by cruise ship 4 Percentages exclude cruise visitation 5 VFR = visiting friends and relatives 6 The May to October period accounts for more than 80% of the annual auto visitation 1 2 3


There is no doubt that tourism has been one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s success stories. With the tourism sector contributing about 1% to provincial GDP1 and representing about 8% of all jobs in the province2, it is a source of economic development in all urban and rural areas of the province and offers sustainability in a resource-dependent economy. Overall, non-resident auto and air visitation has increased fairly steadily over the past two decades at an average rate of 2% annually, with the number of annual visitors in these two segments approaching the 500,000 mark3. The main driver of this growth has been visitation by air which has increased at an average annual rate of 3% during the 1994 to 2013 period. This compares to a decrease of nearly 1%, on average, annually for auto visitation. During this 20-year period, the share of auto visitors dropped significantly from 35% to 21%4.


From the Regions


Submitted by: Matt Molloy Marketing Coordinator Adventure Central Newfoundland


Breakfast isn’t only the most important meal of the day, but it’s also the best time to network, communicate and form relationships. That’s exactly what Shannon Pinsent, Executive Director with Adventure Central Newfoundland, hoped for when he started Tourism Breakfast Club. On November 28, during a delicious breakfast at the beautiful By the Sea Inn & Café in King’s Point, members of Adventure Central sat down with, among other people, many of the tourism operators in the Springdale and King’s Point area. It was the fifth Tourism Breakfast Club meeting, and like previous experiences, this one proved to be enlightening, and gave those around the table a chance to talk about topics like marketing, social media, market readiness, product development and ways to better their communities. Some of the major points of interests in the November 28 informal meeting included the importance of expanding the tourism season and investing in regional informational centres and tourism chalets. One main area of concern for many tourism operators around the table was the issue of volunteer burnout and volunteer retention. Many people echoed the fact that, many associations like heritage societies are run by volunteer board members. Those societies have small numbers, and those small numbers have large responsibilities. It was talked about at the meeting how now would be a great time to help these associations with their successive planning, and help attract more volunteers to those associations. Pinsent also used the meeting to promote the provincial Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development’s open mic program, and encouraged tourism operators around the table

Submitted by: Cathy Duke CEO Destination St. John’s

New Opportunities Across the Pond

Freshly off the flight from TIAC’s National Tourism Congress in Ottawa, I am still pondering the message which became the underlying theme of the entire conference - Canada is losing ground! Canada has dropped in ranking worldwide (2000-2013) from #8 to #17 in hosting international visitors, and from 2.8% to 1.5% in its share of international trips. It has fallen 26% in tourism receipts over that period and dependency on its domestic market has increased to 80% from 60% a decade ago. Combine this with the new Brand USA campaign which is aggressively targeting key markets in Canada and the severely reduced funding for the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) for international marketing, and the traditional Canadian market enjoyed by Newfoundland and Labrador is being steadily undermined. As a Province which has historically depended on 87% of its market from Canadian residents (2011 Exit Survey), it is

Participants attend the Tourism Breakfast Club meeting at By the Sea Inn & Café in King’s Point on November 28.

to utilize that tool to get their name out there. Pinsent told them it was a great opportunity for operators to let government officials know who they are and what they’re doing. The Rules of the Tourism Breakfast Club: 1. Everyone is invited and attendance is free (excluding food, beverage and gratuity). 2. Pictures and video taken at a tourism breakfast should be tagged using #TourismBreakfastClub. Also, it would be greatly appreciated if pictures and videos were posted to the Tourism Breakfast Facebook group,

imperative that we re-examine our growth strategy. While only 4% of our visitors have traditionally come from international markets outside of the US (9% come from the US), new opportunities are arising for us through air access. With our new direct air flights from St. John’s to Europe – Air Canada to Heathrow, Westjet to Dublin and more recently Air Transit to Gatwick – we are compelled to examine what this 4½ hour direct flight to Europe could potentially mean for us. Destination St. John’s recently identified research of the European market in its new strategic plan. Based on this, DSJ attended travel trade shows in 2014 in Dublin, Ireland and London, England with regional partners. This was followed by a FAM tour by Irish tour operators in the spring of 2014. Based on the interest and excitement expressed by these buyers, DSJ will attend these shows again in 2015 as well as host a FAM tour of corporate meeting planners from the UK. This market will not be conquered overnight. We are pursuing a large market with a very small budget, and brand awareness is low, so our efforts must be very strategic. Partnerships are critical. Rebecca Lee of TravelBiz, Ireland, said about her trip, “Thanks for the great trip. It was memorable and I am already planning my return!” We’ll win them one group at a time.

Submitted by: Mark Lamswood Executive Director Go Western Newfoundland




Ed English, Chair, Go Western Newfoundland, accepts cheque on behalf of the western destination management organization.

Reporting from Western Newfoundland

Deer Lake Regional Airport’s tagline “Your Connection to Adventure” states they are an important cog in the trip planning wheel of western Newfoundland. The board and staff at Go Western Newfoundland couldn’t agree more. Both organizations have experienced significant growth in the last few years and are working shoulder to shoulder to accomplish common goals for increased visitation to western Newfoundland. During the Western Destination Management Organization’s (aka Go Western Newfoundland) Annual General Meeting recently held in Deer Lake, the Deer Lake Regional Airport Authority presented a $10,000 cheque in support of Go Western Newfoundland’s marketing and tourism promotion activities. The funding will assist the board and staff with their associated tourism development work and help strengthen the capacity of the western Newfoundland region. On hand to make the presentation on behalf of the Deer Lake Regional Airport Authority was Walter Dominie, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. “We closely monitor our passenger traffic at the airport. In the past few years, we’ve experienced a significant increase in tourism travel. Our board and staff felt it was important to recognize and support our regional organization through a partnership which is a ‘win-win situation’ for both groups.” Walter Dominie (ViceChair, Deer Lake Regional Airport Authority) Accepting the cheque on behalf of the regional tourism development organization was Ed English, Chair, Go Western Newfoundland. “To achieve real tourism growth in western Newfoundland, numerous partners are required. Having a strong regional DMO is a significant part of the equation. The support we receive from our partners has been critical for us to be as effective an organization ®† AIR MILES Reward Program as we can.” Ed English (Chair, Go Western Newfoundland) The board and staff of Go Western Newfoundland Cwould hoose like to genuinely thank the Deer Lake Airport Authority not only for their support of tourism development in Western Newfoundland, but for the critical role they play in connecting our visitors to their adventures overall.

Members of HNL 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. Save money based on your driving record and the number of years you’ve spent behind the wheel. The age of your home, your mortgage-free status, security features and other factors save you money on home insurance. Save when you insure both your home and car with Steers Insurance. Call 1-877-4STEERS today for your no-obligation, insurance quote.

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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


Newly Certified


Chelsea Kohli (front row, second from right) celebrates her achievement of Front Desk Agent certification with fellow staff at St. Jude Hotel.

Fairfield Inn and Suites Erin Power, Front Desk Agent

St. Jude Hotel Chelsea Kohli, Front Desk Agent

Provincial Historic Sites Denise Morris, Heritage Interpreter

Hampton Inn & Suites St. John’s Matt McCoag, Front Desk Agent

Comfort Inn – Gander Roger Wiertz, Front Desk Agent


Thank you to the businesses and organizations who participated in WorldHost® Fundamentals training from July 8 - December 9, 2014. Town of Lewisporte  College of the North Atlantic Single Parents Association of Newfoundland  Holiday Inn Express Deer Lake  Comfort Inn Corner Brook  Marble Inn Resort  Deer Lake Motel Power Up! Stephenville City of St. John’s St. John’s Airport Visitor Information Centre  Fairfield Inn & Suites Cupids Legacy Centre  Town of Bay Roberts Bay Roberts Cultural Foundation Woolfrey’s Municipal Park Notre Dame Visitor Information Centre Lewisporte Heritage Society Beothuk Interpretation Centre Fortune Head Interpretation Centre Heritage Run Tourism Association Placentia West Heritage Society St. Lawrence Historical Committee Marble Mountain ® Registered Trademark of the Province of British Columbia.

Erin Power (left) receives her Front Desk Agent certification from Ann Marie Reddy, Guest Services Manager at the Fairfield Inn & Suites.

Introducing Online Customer Service Courses Through our partnership with WorldHost® Training Services Hospitality NL is able to offer Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism businesses WorldHost® e-Learning programs as our newest training solution. This option is ideal if you prefer to complete training at your own pace, as well as for those who may find it challenging to access in-class workshops. WorldHost® e-Learning programs currently available include: 1. Communication Tools for Service Professionals This online course provides service professionals with enhanced communication skills required to deliver superior customer service. 2. Customers with Disabilities This online course is designed to increase front-line employees’ sensitivity toward people with disabilities, and to provide superior customer service skills that respect every visitor’s unique needs. 3. Service Across Cultures This online course is designed to help front-line workers improve communication with, and provide excellent customer service to all customers from diverse cultures. 4. Remarkable Service in the Age of Social Media – Front-line Staff This course is designed to give front-line service industry workers the knowledge and skills required to provide service that compels customers to endorse, review and recommend your business on social media channels like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook and Twitter. 5. Remarkable Service in the Age of Social Media – Social Media Administrators Designed for anyone who is responsible for administering social media on behalf of a tourism business, this course focuses on roles and responsibilities, effective communications and customer service excellence. WorldHost® e-Learning programs provide: • Self-directed learning • Video and audio training, with the utilization of discussion boards and journals • A comprehensive list of resources and checklists • Access to learning 24/7 for three weeks from date of registration • A self-signing certificate upon passing final assessment It is estimated that course completion times will range from two to five hours and cost $65.00 + HST per person, per program. Click here to register for any of the programs or contact Jessica Greenwood or Juanita Ford at Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador.

Maximize your Membership Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is working for you! 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.

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.

Learn & Lead

Hospitality NL Board of Directors Rex Avery Dion Finlay Kelly Finlay Helena Lawlor Kathie Hicks Connie Rose Vacant Scott Hillyer Annette Parsons

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

Webinar Series

(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

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, 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

One of the benefits of Hospitality NL’s membership is access to the Member to Member Discount Program, designed to offer discounts to members from members. This program is available free of charge to all Hospitality NL members and offers great discounts from fellow members on products and services used every day, such as accommodations, transportation, insurance and office supplies! This program also offers a prime marketing opportunity to spread the word about your business to the Hospitality NL network, which includes fellow members and industry stakeholders, allowing members to connect with and support one another. Check out the Member to Member Discount Program today. To join the program or to inquire about specific discounts, please contact Hospitality NL’s Membership Coordinator, Tania Heath at 1-800-563-0700 or

Hospitality NL’s Learn & Lead Webinar Series returned this past Fall with great success! Members participated in live discussions with experts on topics designed to give them the information they really need to help them manage their business! The webinar series is a learning tool developed for member tourism services and attractions to help them enhance performance and profitability and is available free of charge to Hospitality NL members. Click below to view the resources from the most recent webinars

Canada-NL Job Grant Managing Food Costs for Small Business

Social Media Expert Panel Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

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

Consumer Choice Award for Business Excellence. 3rd consecutive year Winner of the Hospitality NL 2014 Corporate Partner of the Year

800 640 4691

709 722 0864

2015 Conference & Trade Show February 24-26, 2015 Gander, NL




Tourism Times - Winter 2015  

Newsletter of the tourism industry association of Newfoundland & Labrador

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