COW HEAD Western Destination Management Organization executive director Mark Lamswood used a quote from American computer scientist Alan Kay to describe his beliefs at the organization’s Annual General Meeting, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
The approximately 50 tour operators and hotel owners in attendance at the Shallow Bay Motel seemed to agree as Lamswood went through a review of what the management organization has been through in the past year and where it’s going.
Most accommodations operators polled said numbers were a little down this year but they all seemed optimistic for the future. Lamswood spoke of the importance of communication between stakeholders, getting better at utilizing technology to attract more visitors and attracting better partnerships.
“What is our best approach?” he said. “We need to ask that question for a wish list, the best partnerships have yet to come to Western Newfoundland.”
Also in attendance at the meeting were representatives of Marine Atlantic who told the crowd that their numbers were down by 3.4 per cent this past summer, a lot of which had to do with mechanical breakdowns during the biggest peaks of the tourist season.
They said they plan on upgrading Marine Atlantic’s online reservation system and perform upgrades to their facilities.
Maria Matthews, organization chairperson, said they are on track.
“The future is looking good, we have to double tourism by 2020,” she said. “The marketing is there, we just have to make sure the consumer has access to the product on the ground.”