By JIM HILDEBRAND
TWILLINGATE/NEW WORLD ISLAND — Steve Moss, executive director for the Kittiwake Economic Development Corporation brought good news to a meeting of stakeholders of the tourism industry in Twillingate last week.
“I’m here this evening to tell you about an exciting opportunity for Twillingate, its surrounding communities, and the surrounding region,” said Mr. Moss. “This opportunity aims to enhance your tourism industry by bringing more visitors to the region, by providing additional products and services that will make travelers more satisfied, and by putting more money in the pockets of local operators.
“We are committed to making this place a true anchor for the tourism industry in the province so we can show the rest of the province, and the world, how it’s done. ”
Mr. Moss unveiled the Tourism Atlantic’s Strategic Tourism Expansion Program, “an innovative and comprehensive process that closes ‘experiential tourism’ capacity gaps by providing communities and entrepreneurs with a better understanding of destination development, industry trends, and experiential tourism development.”
This pilot project for sustainable tourism development is a first in the province, and will bring together individuals with an interest in the tourism industry in the Twillingate – New World Island region.
“Through the services of a professional tourism consultant, we will take a thorough look at what the community currently has in terms of tourism products and services,” Mr. Moss Explained. “In addition, we will conduct a series of workshops, where the community will identify what else is needed in this area to complement its existing products, enhance the communities’ tourism offerings, and come up with additional business opportunities.”
The Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board was tasked to pick a community after the 2011 Provincial budget where $300,000 was given to support and develop authentic multi-seasonal products, services, and experiences, and to focus on the development in two high potential areas – Labrador and Twillingate-New World Island area.
The Twillingate-New World Island area was the unanimous choice of the board as Mr. Moss explains, “Twillingate is a community that has a vibrant tourism industry with an enormous potential for growth. It is recognized as one of the most unique destinations in the province.”
Now the Kittiwake Economic Development Corporation is looking for help.
“We put together a small committee of operators, funding partners, municipalities, and industry associations to do the necessary preliminary work – this included administrative details, ie: paperwork, securing funding, and getting the process started,” he said. “We’ve completed all the steps required to move forward.
“We will start with the development of a plan, and in order to develop it, we need the tourism stakeholder, to tell us what needs to go in it. We’re looking for industry champions to participate in the project steering committee, and we’re also looking for as many people as we can to participate in the planning workshops and to share ideas on how to move the tourism sector forward in Twillingate and the surrounding area.”
Mr. Moss said most importantly, “we need you to implement these opportunities over the next few seasons.”