Sessions & Events

DAY 1: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21

Hospitality NL Board Meeting

Date: Tuesday, February 21
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Salon A, Hotel Gander
Attendees: Hospitality NL Board of Directors

Hospitality NL’s Board of Directors will be holding their last meeting of the 2016 Board.

Hospitality NL Annual General Meeting

Date: Tuesday, February 21
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Location: Hotel Gander Theatre
Attendees: Hospitality NL Members only
Hosts: Dion Finlay, Chair; Craig Foley, CEO

Join the 2016 Board of Directors as they provide an overview of Hospitality activities for the past year with the Chair’s, Treasurer’s and CEO’s Address. New Board members will also be welcomed to the Board. As always, there will also be an opportunity for members to voice their priorities to the Board to help guide the Association’s activities in 2017 and beyond.

Tourism Sector Group Meetings

Date: Tuesday, February 21
Time: Varied
Location: Varied
Attendees: Sector Group Members

Members of the food & beverage, hotel/motel, boat tour and bed & breakfast sectors will gather to discuss the key challenges for the sector, meet the new sector representatives on Hospitality NL’s 2017 Board as well as provide opportunities to engage members in future strategic planning.

Opening Reception & Official Opening of Trade Show

Date: Tuesday, February 21
Time: 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Salon EF, Albatross Hotel
Attendees: All Delegates

It has been a year since we gathered in St. John’s for the 2016 Conference and Trade Show. Delegates are anxious to meet up with colleagues and buddies, suppliers and friends that they have not seen in a while – the night is all about networking and conversation.

If you are new to the Conference, make your way to the Customer Service/Registration Desk, Hospitality NL staff will be happy to orient you to the Conference and can introduce you to our Board who will help you network!

Our aim for this event is to give delegates a chance to relax, chat and laugh with other professionals in our tourism community. Mingle and arrange meetings for later in the Conference.


DAY 2: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22

Keynote Sponsor Address

Date: Wednesday, February 22
Time: 8:45 am – 9:00 am
Location: Salon ABC, Albatross Hotel
Attendees: All Delegates
Speaker: Don Barnes, VP of Customer Experience, Marine Atlantic Inc.

Keynote: Tourism, Travel and the Sharing Economy

Date: Wednesday, February 22
Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Location: Salon ABC, Albatross Hotel
Attendees: All Delegates
Speaker: Jesse Hirsh

The sharing economy as we know it is certainly a challenge to the traditional tourism industry. However, it also provides an opportunity for regional and local players to work together to raise the sector as a whole to new heights. On a basic level, the sharing economy is about empowering small players who are able to use emerging platforms to leverage whatever they have to share. But it also provides an opportunity for more established or larger operators to really leverage their knowledge and reputations in a crowded marketplace. There is a growing desire by consumers to spend money on experiences and not just stuff. This is one reason why travel and tourism continues to grow but it also offers an insight into how marketing efforts in the sharing economy are changing. Recommendations and stories are driving how people make decisions. There’s much that the tourism sector can do to facilitate this, such as enabling greater consumer sharing, activities, and helping to create truly memorable experiences. Combine this with customized marketing and relationship building, driven by artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, and there are lots of reasons to be excited about the emerging sharing economy and its impact on tourism and hospitality.

The Sharing Economy Panel Discussion

Date: Wednesday, February 22
Time: 11:00 am – 11:45 am
Location: Salon ABC, Albatross Hotel
Attendees: All Delegates
Moderator: Jesse Hirsh
Panelists: Carmela Murphy, Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Business, Tourism, Culture & Rural Development; Dave Lane, Councillor, City of St. John’s; Cathy Duke, CEO, Destination St. John’s; Courtney Howell, Owner/Operator, Grate’s Cove Studios; Deborah Bourden, Owner/Operator, Anchor Inn Hotel & Suites; Dion Finlay, Owner/Operator, The Leaside Group

While the concept is a part of the fabric of the younger millennial generation, Gen Xers and even Baby Boomers have begun to embrace the sharing economy and the new take on travel and tourism that it presents. Hospitality NL wants to ensure that all tourism stakeholders – operators, organizations and government – are educated on the rise of the sharing economy and prepared to maximize opportunities, address regulatory concerns and most importantly, continue to deliver safe and unforgettable tourism experiences that showcase the best of Newfoundland and Labrador. This panel, made up of key stakeholders and moderated by keynote speaker, Jesse Hirsh, will explore various opportunities and issues presented by the sharing economy.

Provincial Tourism Luncheon

Date: Wednesday, February 22
Time: 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Location: Salon ABCD, Hotel Gander
Attendees: All Delegates
Sponsor: Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
Speaker: Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister, Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

Hospitality NL is pleased that Minister Mitchelmore will join delegates and provide the keynote luncheon address. During the luncheon, the province will also present its prestigious Doug Wheeler and Cultural Tourism Awards. This luncheon is a great opportunity for all tourism stakeholders to hear the annual “state of provincial tourism” address from the Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development.

Tourism Product Development Priorities

Date: Wednesday, February 22
Time: 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Location: Salon ABC, Albatross Hotel
Attendees: All delegates
Speakers: Carol-Ann Gilliard, Director of Strategic Product Development, Department of Business, Tourism, Culture & Rural Development

As one of the seven strategic directions outlined in our industry’s vision (Vision 2020), product, or experience, development is incredibly important to ensuring Newfoundland and Labrador’s tourism industry delivers on our brand promise and provides visitors with one of a kind, memorable experiences. Join Carol-Ann Gilliard, Director of Strategic Product Development with the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture & Rural Development as she outlines provincial tourism product development priorities and how they will help guide us on the home stretch to Vision 2020.

People & Programs – Experience Development Best Practices Panel

Date: Wednesday, February 22
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Salon ABC, Albatross Hotel
Attendees: All Delegates
Sponsor: Maxxim Vacations
Moderator: Carol-Ann Gilliard, Director of Strategic Product Development, Department of Business, Tourism, Culture & Rural Development
Panelists: Jill Curran, Maxxim Vacations; Todd Perrin, Mallard Cottage; Ian Stone, Taste of Gros Morne; Glenn Keough, Parks Canada

Following an in-depth look at the new provincial tourism product development strategy, Hospitality NL will bring together a diverse panel of tourism operators, stakeholders and partners to share their experiences, strategies and best practices for developing and delivering truly unique and culturally rich tourism experiences.

Country Western Night

Date: Wednesday, February 22
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Salon ABCD, Hotel Gander
Attendees: All Delegates

Saddle up the stove, Ma, I’m riding the range tonight! Shine up your belt buckle and dust off the cowboy boots. Saddle up as Fun Night is going to the Wild, Wild West! Enjoy awesome complimentary western chow and some boot scootin’ tunes! Dress up and have a blast – it’s country night at Hospitality NL’s Conference & Trade Show!


DAY 3: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23 

National Tourism Panel

Date: Thursday, February 23
Time: 8:30 am – 10:00 am
Location: Salon ABC, Albatross Hotel
Attendees: All delegates
Panelists: David Robinson, Destination Canada; Philip Mondor, Tourism HR Canada; Charlotte Bell, Tourism Industry Association of Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial tourism industry and its strategies fit into the bigger picture of a federal tourism strategy. This session will provide an opportunity for delegates to have a dialogue about tourism with leaders from three of Canada’s most important national tourism organizations: Destination Canada, Tourism HR Canada, and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). Join the panelists as they provide a synopsis of key national initiatives and priorities, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A to discuss how Newfoundland and Labrador fits into the national picture and how this province can maximize on and support these national efforts.

The Power of Aboriginal Tourism – The Path Forward 2016-2021

Date: Thursday, February 23
Time: 10:30 am – 11:45 am
Location: Salon ABC, Albatross Hotel
Attendees: All Delegates
Sponsor: Qalipu First Nation
Speaker: Keith Henry, Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada

This session will educate and enrich delegates about indigenous tourism development and marketing in Canada and how that translates here in Newfoundland and Labrador. It will inform aboriginal tourism operators attending on how to develop an authentic market ready experience, while also providing the non-aboriginal tourism operators and stakeholders attending an overview of development and partnership opportunities in this market.

Professional Development Luncheon

Date: Thursday, February 23
Time: 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Location: Salon ABCD, Hotel Gander
Attendees: All Delegates
Sponsor: Parks Canada
Speaker: Jonathan Foster, Executive Director of the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism (GMIST)

Hospitality NL and Parks Canada are please to present Perfect Pairings at Thursday’s luncheon event. Jonathan Foster, Executive Director of the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism (GMIST) will host the luncheon, highlighting the many opportunities for partnership and collaboration that exist in tourism. Parks Canada and Hospitality NL will also present the Sustainable Tourism Award.

Hospitality NL Advocacy Report Card

Date: Thursday, February 23
Time: 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Location: Salon ABC, Albatross Hotel
Attendees: All Delegates

Join Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador’s leadership for an update on the association’s advocacy efforts pertaining to key policy issues affecting the provincial tourism industry.

Tourism Excellence Awards Gala

Date: Thursday, February 23
Time: 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Salon ABCD, Hotel Gander
Attendees: All Delegates

The Tourism Excellence Awards Gala is industry’s opportunity to celebrate the best of the best. The Tourism Excellence Awards take center stage as recipients are recognized. This event is business formal or black tie optional and provides industry, government and all other tourism stakeholders an opportunity to celebrate the success and growth of our tourism industry.

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