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Editorial: Less studying, more doing

['Editorial']
['Editorial']

Tourism is something that a lot of people don’t think about every day but for those involved in the industry they live and breathe it.

Interest in what’s happening in the industry was evident at the Go Western Newfoundland annual general meeting held at Days Inn in Stephenville last Wednesday.

With 75 people, involving stakeholders, operators and representatives from different government bodies, ears were perked as the industry was discussed.

Carol Ann Gillard, director of Tourism Destination Development, gave a plan update on Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Product Development, which has a lofty goal of reaching $1.6 billion in the industry by 2020.

She believes it’s attainable and that the good news is the tourism experience is growing in this province.

From the work Destination Development has done in the past they have learned of a lot of recurring themes in the regions throughout the province with not much variance in the type of things tourists can experience.

Food is a key area to try and offer different experiences and they have learned there are major geological opportunities in tourism in this province.

She said it’s time to stop doing studies and for people in the industry to start doing what they know and an increase in experiences will happen, especially since people in the industry get to be the cultural ambassadors for Newfoundland and Labrador history.

Andrea Peddle, director of tourism, talked at length about Tourism NL’s Travel Trade Program and how people from a number of states in the United States, along with Germany and China are showing their interest in Newfoundland and Labrador.

She said what exists today is more modernized tourism with operator listings and the packaging of experiences more important than it has ever been, with operators having assistance from Go Western Newfoundland available to them.

Peddle told operators that in today’s world people of all ages are looking and booking online with various electronic devices from smart phones, to tablets, to computers. She said that’s why it’s essential for operators to be involved in that.

Tourism NL has been very successful with its ad campaigns in the past number of years.

Peddle said they are looking at something a little different this year and believes that people will be pleased with the ads. She believes people should listen in to them when they rolled out.

Hearing that the time for studying is over and doing is now here is likely music to the ears of those in the tourism industry.

There’s lots this province has to offer and giving visitors varied experiences can and should work.

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