Speed dating for tourism: Bonavista accommodations, attractions owners get a little closer
Meeting of complementary industries aims to maximize number of guests staying and returning
Think of it as speed dating for the local tourism industry: representatives from the accommodations and tourism industries on Newfoundland's Bonavista Peninsula are sitting down to learn a little bit more about each other.
"We have so much happening on this peninsula. Every year there is just so many new attractions and events and activities that perhaps some accommodators aren't aware of," said Garry Blackmore, who owns Captain Blackmore's Heritage Manor in Port Union and helped organize a get-together for the two groups.
"Our intention is to make sure we can maximize our guest stay."
Blackmore said the Bonavista Peninsula is exploding with activities, some of them older and more established and some just starting, such as new restaurants or foraging tours where tourists can explore nature and meet up on the beach for a traditional Newfoundland meal.
"You could spend weeks out here," said Blackmore. "The more that we can offer them the more people will come and stay."
Blackmore said there is an advantage to meeting face-to-face.
"When you talk to somebody, you get the sense of their heart for the matter or their industry."
The groups met Tuesday afternoon, with the 2019 tourism season just getting underway. With people coming from all over the world — Americans in particular are cashing in because of a weak Canadian dollar, said Blackmore — he hopes the gathering will be an annual event.
"They come because we offer things sometimes they can't get in their own area. The tranquility and peace and quiet we have in Newfoundland," said Blackmore, who said about 72,000 tourists visited the region last year.
"So many things we take for granted or overlook because we live in it, they remind us of the beauty we have here."
With files from The St. John's Morning Show