Appraising western Newfoundland

Diane
Diane Crocker
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Assessment looking at tourism opportunities in the region

talks to a group of people about a Tourism Destination Visitor Appeal Appraisal project at Marble Mountain on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

Tourism industry stakeholders got an introduction into what a Tourism Destination Visitor Appeal Appraisal project being undertaken in the western region is all about at Marble Mountain in Steady Brook on Tuesday.

Richard Innes, president of Brain Trust Marketing and Communications, is conducting the appraisal for project leads Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL) and the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation.

Other partners include the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Department of Innovation Business and Rural Development and the Western Destination Marketing Organization.

“We know that those organizations are good, but when it comes to developing the destination we recognize that has to come from the ground up,” said Innes before addressing the 30 people gathered at Marble Mountain. “It has to be the operator, the not-for profits, the for-profit organizations that are in tourism.”

Innes said they’re the ones that have to work on the ground in partnership with government and other partners.

 “We come in and we do an assessment of the area. We really look at all of the opportunities, all of the things that are here and identify those that have real potential to be leveraged to grow, to enhance things that are happening,” Innes said in explaining the process.

He said the appraisal also identifies some of the gaps that are there in terms of what the customer is looking for.

“And so it really is an assessment of what’s on the ground from a tourism perspective,” he said.

Innes said the appraisal plays out of the province’s and HNL’s Vision 2020 tourism strategy “Uncommon Potential: A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism.”

He said product development has been identified as a key strategy Newfoundland and Labrador needs to undertake to grow tourism to and within the province.

Appraisals are being conducted in all five regions of the province with eastern completed, Labrador near complete, central to start in the fall and St. John’s in the new year.

Besides looking at each individual region it will also look at destinations and visitor appeal from a provincial standpoint.

“And we really believe that there will be some common threads that will connect together.”

Innes said it’s an elaborate process that won’t be completed for this region until the end of the year. The session at Marble was the third of six being held in the region. The first took place in Port aux Basques on Monday, followed by Stephenville and Steady Brook on Tuesday. Today there’ll be a session in Rocky Harbour and on Thursday, the process moves to St. Barbe and St. Anthony.

Innes said more sessions are planned for October.

At the end of the project each region will get a series of recommendations that Innes said a combination of people will need to pull together in order to implement with help from government and from operators.

Organizations: Brain Trust Marketing and Communications, Department of Tourism, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Department of Innovation Business and Rural Development Western Destination Marketing Organization A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Marble Mountain, Steady Brook Port aux Basques Stephenville Rocky Harbour St. Anthony

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