Colours all around us

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

New­found­land and Labrador’s tourism ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign has for years been drum­ming up steady busi­ness. The pris­tine im­ages of colour­ful row houses and clothes­lines nes­tled next to salt­box homes over­look­ing the har­bour have cap­ti­vated na­tional au­di­ences and sold many on the idea of ex­plor­ing what this prov­ince has to of­fer. A dart over to any tourist desti­na­tion for a chat with vis­i­tors from out­side the prov­ince will tell you as much — th­ese ads pique their cu­rios­ity.

It’s a tes­ta­ment to the award-win­ning work of St. John’s Tar­get Mar­ket­ing that we con­tinue to make gains on tourism. Non-res­i­dent vis­its by ferry and air ex­ceeded 462,000 for the pe­riod end­ing Oc­to­ber 2015, which was re­port­edly on par for the pre­vi­ous year. The prov­ince es­ti­mates tourism gen­er­ates over $1.1 bil­lion in spend­ing an­nu­ally.

With the launch of the lat­est pro­vin­cial ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign last month — ti­tled “Find Your­self ” — it’s strik­ing to see how many com­mu­ni­ties in the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion area are rep­re­sented. Bri­gus, Cavendish, Hant’s Har­bour, New Per­li­can, Old Per­li­can, Red Head Cove and Salmon Cove all earn some screen time in a 90-se­cond clip that will air on a va­ri­ety of plat­forms over the next few months.

A drive along Route 80 through Trin­ity South makes for a nice jour­ney any given day. Our coastal com­mu­ni­ties have an ever­last­ing charm, and they all have unique quirks and char­ac­ter­is­tics.

The fact the peo­ple rec­og­niz­ing the ap­peal of places like Bri­gus and Hant’s Har­bour are tasked to think hard about sell­ing New­found­land and Labrador to na­tional and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets (they’re buy­ing ad time on Air Canada flights) bodes well for the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion area.

The towns them­selves need to be proac­tive in find­ing ways to take ad­van­tage of New­found­land and Labrador’s favourable pro­file as a tourism desti­na­tion. The plung­ing price of oil may prove to be a fur­ther boost to tourism this sum­mer, with gas prices low and air­lines of­fer­ing en­tic­ing sales (Marine At­lantic mean­while bumped it rates up slightly last week for the 2015-16 sea­son).

Event plan­ning, beau­ti­fi­ca­tion projects and mea­sures to sup­port busi­nesses should be on the agenda. Get­ting a head start on all of this will ideally pay div­i­dends when the tourism sea­son hits.

With so much un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing the gen­eral eco­nomic health of New­found­land and Labrador, now is the time to think about how we can best ben­e­fit from tourism.

Event plan­ning, beau­ti­fi­ca­tion projects and mea­sures to sup­port busi­nesses should be on the agenda. Get­ting a head start on all of this will ideally pay div­i­dends when the tourism sea­son hits.

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