Future looking good for tourism: Western DMO

Paul
Paul Hutchings
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Western Destination Management Organization executive director Mark Lamswood addresses the crowd during the organization’s AGM in Cow Head Friday.

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.”

Organizations: Marine Atlantic

Geographic location: Western Newfoundland

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  • Foghorn Leghorn
    October 20, 2012 - 09:14

    I can assure you that Marine Atlantic's number are showing a 3.4 per cent decrease but that has translated to a much bigger decrease in visitor numbers in western Newfoundland. There is going to have to be a much different approach by many of these same tourism operators if the tourism market is ever going to recover to levels they were a number of years ago. We have a number of factors, expensive accommodations in many areas, high gas prices, high ferry costs and a high Canadian dollar to boot . It is going to take more effort than a glossy advertising campaign put off by the Provincial Government to cure the declining tourism numbers.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    October 20, 2012 - 09:13

    I can assure you that Marine Atlantic's number are showing a 3.4 per cent decrease but that has translated to a much bigger decrease in visitor numbers in western Newfoundland. There is going to have to be a much different approach by many of these same tourism operators if the tourism market is ever going to recover to levels they were a number of years ago. We have a number of factors, expensive accommodations in many areas, high gas prices, high ferry costs and a high Canadian dollar to boot . It is going to take more effort than a glossy advertising campaign put off by the Provincial Government to cure the declining tourism numbers.