Hospitality NL calls on Provincial Government to address long-standing issue of unlicensed accommodations

For immediate release

April 30, 2018

St. John’s – Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial tourism industry association, is calling for immediate action by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to address the issue of unlicensed accommodations operating within the province in direct contravention to the Tourist Establishments Act.

Under the Tourist Establishments Act in Newfoundland and Labrador, roofed accommodation providers must obtain a Tourist Establishment License in order to operate. Platforms such as Airbnb make it easier for unlicensed accommodators to operate without following regulations or paying associated costs. A regulated business environment helps to ensure the safety and satisfaction of consumers as well as the overall quality of tourism offerings.

“The tourism industry welcomes and encourages new and unique product offerings in the market that help us deliver on travellers’ expectations and differentiate Newfoundland and Labrador as a tourism destination,” says Hospitality NL Chair, Larry Laite. “However, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador maintains that the key to success in the new reality of today’s travel and tourism sector is equity – ensuring all tourism and travel product providers operate in the spirit of legitimate competition, abide by all regulatory and licensing requirements in order to operate in the province, and join the industry network that is working collaboratively to grow tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Over the years, countless studies, discussion papers, committees and rounds of public consultations have clearly identified the shortcomings in existing provincial legislation that make it ineffective and unenforceable. Yet, no solutions have been indentified or changes implemented to address the issue. Tourism operators are disappointed that despite plenty of discussion and research on the issue, no consequences for operating without a Tourist Establishment Licence are being enforced.

Hospitality NL wishes to work with Government on behalf of the tourism industry to identify and implement a collective solution that will help to strengthen and grow tourism, protect consumers, encourage fair business competition, allow for alternate revenue streams for residents, and collect proper taxes from operators.

“Tourism is big business in Newfoundland and Labrador and the industry is committed to professionalism, quality assurance and delivering high quality tourism services and attractions according to global standards. There are more than 2,600 tourism-related businesses in this province, 78% of which are small businesses; annual tourism spending has reached almost $1.13 billion; and tourism supports approximately 20,000 jobs or 9% of all jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador,” adds Laite. “However the industry is capable of much more and this significant issue is negatively impacting our ability to grow and compete on a global scale.”

On behalf of our membership, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador asks the Provincial Government to act now to create equity in the industry and begin the process for legislative change.

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.


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