Room for improvement
Work to do to attract more tourists, Grand Bank council acknowledges
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 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.