Room for im­prove­ment

Work to do to at­tract more tourists, Grand Bank coun­cil ac­knowl­edges

The Southern Gazette - - Editorial - BY PAUL HERRIDGE GRAND BANK, N.L. paul.herridge@south­erngazette.ca

A tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties fo­rum held on the Burin Penin­sula in late May was an eye­opener for sev­eral Grand Bank coun­cil­lors who took part in the ini­tia­tive.

The fo­rum, or­ga­nized by Leg­endary Coasts of East­ern New­found­land, fea­tured a num­ber of ses­sions and took par­tic­i­pants to visit sev­eral tourism sites around the re­gion.

Coun. Jack Bur­fitt’s take­away was that Grand Bank needs to step up its tourism game.

“When it comes to tourism, here in Grand Bank we’re be­hind the eight ball,” he told fel­low coun­cil­lors dur­ing the town’s coun­cil meet­ing on Monday, May 28.

Like­wise, Coun. Stan Burt said, from lis­ten­ing to some of the ses­sions, it is ob­vi­ous the town has work to do.

“The thing is we’ve got to get peo­ple in­volved. As a coun­cil, we can’t do every­thing,” Burt said. “We’ve got it all here. It’s just a mat­ter of get­ting it out and ex­pand­ing on what we have.”

Coun. George Bennett ac­knowl­edged other towns are us­ing one main at­trac­tion as a tourism an­chor and build­ing around it, cit­ing Sandy Cove beach as an ex­am­ple in Lord’s Cove.

He said the an­chor for Grand Bank should be the town’s down­town and wa­ter­front re-devel­op­ment project. The town re­cently re­ceived nearly $900,000 from the fed­eral and provincial gov­ern­ment to com­plete the first stage of the plan.

Bennett said other ar­eas towns are work­ing to­gether to pro­mote each other’s ef­forts.

The re­cent fo­rum also in­volved rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the neigh­bour­ing French is­lands of St-Pierre-et-Miquelon.

“They want to help pro­mote things in (this) area, as well, ac­cord­ing to what they were say­ing the week,” Bennett said.

Mayor Rex Matthews said a ma­jor is­sue on the Burin Penin­sula is the lack of a one-stop web­site where peo­ple can go to find out the events and ac­tiv­i­ties hap­pen­ing around the re­gion.

“Some­body got to take the ini­tia­tive to put all that to­gether un­der one um­brella. It’ll never suc­ceed if we don’t get to­gether on that,” he said. “We have a lot of things to do and see in Grand Bank, but you know, we don’t get the pub­lic­ity.”

LEG­ENDARY COASTS OF EAST­ERN NEW­FOUND­LAND FACE­BOOK PHOTO

Leg­endary Coasts of East­ern New­found­land held a tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties fo­rum on the Burin Penin­sula ear­lier this month. One of the ses­sions was held at the Provincial Sea­men’s Mu­seum in Grand Bank.

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