Air access issues have significant impact on provincial tourism industry

November 22, 2018 – Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is concerned following an announcement by Westjet of its decision to move a seasonal direct flight to Dublin from St. John’s, NL to Halifax, NS. This news comes less than a year after Westjet announced a similar move with its direct service to London’s Gatwick airport in January.

“It is certainly a blow to the provincial tourism industry to lose another of our direct air links from Europe,” says Hospitality NL Chair, Larry Laite. “A common phrase in the tourism community is that we receive no accidental tourists in Newfoundland and Labrador – it takes a concerted effort to plan a visit to this destination and ease of access to the province, whether by air, sea or land, is vitally important.”

As the Government of Canada develops a new federal tourism strategy to draw visitors from around the world, a fast and direct flight option from Europe to Canada, via Newfoundland and Labrador, is of great value to our province. Access and transportation continues to be a major strategic priority for the growth of the tourism industry. Travel to, from, and around the province, is often inhibited by issues of affordability, capacity, infrastructure and quality. Newfoundland and Labrador’s tourism industry, especially the hardworking operators who make significant investments in tourism businesses, depends on an accessible, affordable and reliable transportation system in order to grow.

“We understand that these are difficult decisions made with a business lens on the situation, but nonetheless, we will continue to aggressively advocate for increased access to this province with our partners at the St. John’s International Airport Authority, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, and others across the province. Addressing issues of access and transportation is absolutely essential if any strategy to grow inbound tourism to Newfoundland and Labrador is to be truly successful,” adds Laite.

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial tourism industry association for 35 years, is dedicated to advancing growth in tourism through advocacy efforts, skills and knowledge development and membership and networking opportunities.


Media Contact:
Melissa Ennis
Manager, Policy & Communications
Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador
P: 709-722-2000 ext. 231
C: 709-227-1863