Strategic Direction #7
Developing Our Workforce
Who we are is an intangible addition to the experience of travellers to this province. From the chance happenings with unique characters to the experiences provided, the people of this province are an invaluable asset for the tourism industry. As a highly labour-intensive, service-based industry, tourism requires a strong labour force and sophisticated business community to ensure tourism growth and development.
The most recent statistics tell us that the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is made up of 2500 tourism businesses and employs over 18000 people. We must empower these people to be a unique part enhancing the Newfoundland and Labrador experience. Every interaction a traveller has provides the potential to create a lasting memory and contributes to our long-term sustainability. Unique, authentic and informative discussions with locals have been cited as some of the best experiences travellers have along their journey. We must do more.
To achieve the growth outlined in Vision 2020, and to meet the evolving needs of travellers, our sector needs skilled, knowledgeable employees and business people. Offering superior training and business development support opportunities is the way to ensure this. Our people and communities must have access to the learning opportunities they need to advance their experiences and understand the importance of their own roles in building our unique brand of service.
The province’s tight labour market makes it difficult for operators to attract, retain, and train good people. A shrinking replacement pool due to a declining birth rate and a retiring generation of baby boomers, out-migration to other jurisdictions with higher wages, and competition with other industries for skilled workers are just a few of the challenges facing the sustainability of the tourism labour force.
The people of Newfoundland and Labrador and their role in the tourism industry also present a position of strength. There is a growing appreciation of the value of tourism within the province as a critical link that makes Newfoundland and Labrador a good place to work, live and do business. Therefore, the value of tourism can be seen amongst residents, the business community and travellers to the province. By building a sustainable industry that showcases our natural friendliness, warmth, hospitality, and character, we are contributing to a society that provides memorable and differentiated experiences for our travellers.