Tourism Industry Needs a Seat at the COVID-19 Recovery Table

For immediate release

April 28, 2020 – When the COVID-19 virus began to appear in Newfoundland and Labrador, tourism was one of the fastest and hardest hit industries. Within days, hundreds of small and medium sized businesses in NL were forced to shut down, or seriously ease operation – putting thousands of people out of work and forcing many seasonal enterprises to remain closed. Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador represents this sector and the people who own and work in these businesses.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Industry accounts for 2,700 businesses in NL and over 20,000 jobs in both urban and rural areas of the province. In an effort to adapt during these unprecedented times, Health & Safety, Business Liquidity and Employment have been the priority for operators trying to ensure their businesses can survive long enough to get back to a point of sustainable operation. However, as other jurisdictions begin to ease restrictions and look towards recovery, many in the industry are trying to clarify what that means for their businesses and understand the details on how that shift will take place. 

Last week, the Board of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador launched a second phase to it’s series of Virtual Gatherings of Tourism Business Leaders and Stakeholders focused on sector specific working groups to shape and guide the recommendations for their future operations including best practices, health and safety and operating guidelines. Based on broad and inclusive representation, industry’s ideas will be formalized and presented to Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador’s Board of Directors.

Yesterday, representatives from Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador met with the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation and the Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services to impress upon government the need for industry’s voice to be heard and opinions considered as it relates to the easing of restrictions and a restart to the economy.

Steve Denty, Chair of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador Board of Directors described the meeting as very productive and indicated that both Ministers understand how important it is for a restart plan to be put in place and communicated effectively to the tourism sector. Additionally, for a meaningful restart to our sector to be successful, open communication with industry is essential to ensure experts in the field will be able to inform governments on the impacts and realities of their plan so as to minimize the already devastating effects of the pandemic.

“I am sure our industry operators will be very happy to hear the positive results of our meeting” says Hospitality NL Chair, Steve Denty. “It was made clear to us that a phased plan or framework would be forthcoming soon. Minister Haggie was very receptive to having Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador continue to work closely with Minister Davis to ensure industry’s voice is heard on how tourism fits into their pending framework.”

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


Media Contact:
Shanelle Clowe
Manager, Advocacy & Communications
Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador
P: 709-722-2000 ext. 231
C: 709-325-1040