Hospitality NL highlights tourism priorities and significant challenges ahead of municipal elections

For immediate release

September 18, 2017

St. John’s – As residents across Newfoundland and Labrador head to the polls to elect municipal leaders, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is calling to the attention of candidates, a number of challenges that impede the growth and sustainability of the provincial tourism industry, a key economic driver in both rural and urban regions of the province.

“As the busy summer tourism season begins to wind down, we have heard many accounts of travellers’ unforgettable experiences, as well as tourism operators’ successful seasons,” says Hospitality NL Chair, Dion Finlay. “The positive impact of the provincial tourism industry cannot be overlooked, however there are significant challenges hindering further growth and development within the industry and municipalities have a significant role to play when it comes to tourism.

“Hospitality NL is calling on all municipal candidates to familiarize themselves with the challenges currently facing the provincial tourism industry and to let voters know how they intend to address such issues and support tourism growth within their jurisdiction. Tourism operators are citing issues such as unlicensed accommodations that operate without proper approvals, licenses, insurance and/or taxes, and transportation and access concerns like road maintenance that impact residents and travellers. These are some of the tourism priorities that municipal candidates must be aware of, and prepared to act upon,” adds Finlay.

Tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador is a success story representing a strong and sustainable opportunity for continued economic diversification, especially in rural parts of our province. It is a versatile employer in our economy, distributing jobs in all working age groups of our population and in all districts.

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is the provincial tourism industry association dedicated to advancing growth in tourism through advocacy efforts, skills and knowledge development and membership and networking opportunities. A proud partner of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board, committed to Vision 2020 and achieving industry’s collective goal of increasing visitor spending to $1.6 billion annually by 2020.

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Media Contact:

Melissa Ennis
Manager, Policy & Communications
Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador
E: mennis@hnl.ca
P: 709-722-2000 ext. 231
C: 709-227-1863

Backgrounder

With nearly 2,600 tourism businesses present in all regions of the province, helping generate $1 billion in spending every year and accounting for 8% of total provincial jobs, tourism is a substantial component of Newfoundland and Labrador’s future. However, there are priority issues facing the future growth and development of the industry.

  • Tourism Strategy – there are several ways in which municipal governments can demonstrate support for tourism, including financial investment, policy initiatives and appropriate by-laws all designed to facilitate sustained growth.
  • Transportation & Sense of Arrival – Newfoundland and Labrador’s tourism industry depends on an accessible, affordable and reliable transportation system in order to grow. Aspects of transportation, including roads, signage, trails and pedestrian infrastructure are all important sense of arrival experiences.
  • Regulatory Issues – it is essential that municipal, provincial and federal regulatory requirements and processes are flexible, straightforward and eliminate unnecessary red tape in order to facilitate business growth and development. For businesses to successfully operate in a supportive and innovative environment, a concerted effort must be made to ensure legislation is effective and enforced.

Read more about key areas of focus in the Tourism Advocacy Toolkit:

Comprised of primarily small- to medium-sized businesses, tourism services and attractions support the needs of an economy by providing the foundation of services (accommodations, transportation services, restaurants, etc.) that other business sectors need to grow, attract workers and leverage private investment thereby supporting sustainable and viable communities. Through a commitment to the sustainable development of the tourism industry, the province can grow visitation, spending and tax revenue and continue to create employment opportunities for residents.


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