Hospitality Nfld. and Labrador conference report

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Greg Oates of NEXTFactor Enterprises kicks off HNL Annual Conference and Trade Show. HNL signs MOU with Indigenous Tourism Association. HNL Tourism Excellence Awards Gala.

By Melissa Ennis, HNL

Greg Oates.

Greg Oates.

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador kicked off its
Annual Conference and Trade Show on Feb. 27 with Greg Oates, chief innovation officer for NEXTFactor Enterprises Inc., delivering the keynote address to

The Conference, which took place in Gander from February 26-28, is the
chief tourism industry event in the province, bringing together tourism
operators, stakeholders and government representatives to collaborate on
expanding one of Newfoundland & Labrador’s fastest growing sectors.

Larry Laite.

Larry Laite.

“For the
past 10 years, tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador has been guided by a
collective vision for growth – Vision 2020,” said Hospitality NL chair, Larry

“Now it is time for the industry to look beyond 2020 at the future of
tourism. We are excited to have Mr. Oates join us at this year’s Conference to
lead that discussion and get us all thinking about where our industry is headed
and how we will get there utilizing the principles of sustainability, regional
collaboration and technology.”

delegates on the final day of Conference events is The Honourable Mélanie
Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. “We are
very pleased to have the Federal Minister of Tourism, Mélanie Joly, join us in
Gander,” added Laite. “Minister Joly has been travelling across the country
connecting with tourism operators and working to develop a new federal tourism
strategy that will enhance the role of tourism in Canada’s economy. We look
forward to sharing our Newfoundland and Labrador perspective and how our unique
tourism offerings fit into the national picture.”

Joly addressed conference delegates on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at
the Albatross Hotel in Gander, followed immediately by a panel featuring some
of Canada’s leading national tourism organizations: Tourism Industry
Association of Canada, Restaurants Canada, Destination Canada and Indigenous
Tourism Association of Canada. 

Due to
the strong support of the local tourism industry, Hospitality NL’s Conference sold out! Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial tourism
industry association for 35 years, is dedicated to advancing growth in tourism
through advocacy efforts, skills and knowledge development and membership and
networking opportunities. Hospitality NL’s Conference and Trade Show is the
largest annual gathering of tourism operators within the province.

HNL signs MOU with Indigenous Tourism Association

Keith Henry, ITAC.

Keith Henry, ITAC.

Hospitality Newfoundland
& Labrador and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
(ITAC) signed a memorandum of understanding today at the Hospitality Newfoundland
& Labrador Conference and Trade Show.

The memorandum will help to
further establish and promote Indigenous tourism within Newfoundland &

“We want to position
Newfoundland and Labrador as an Indigenous destination, and by working with
Hospitality NL, who is such a leader in the province, we believe this is
completely attainable,” said Keith Henry, president & CEO of ITAC. “The
province has so much to offer in terms of culture and experience and we want to
showcase that through our work with Hospitality NL.”

The agreement will see ITAC
and Hospitality NL collaborating on Indigenous tourism initiatives, product
development, and expanding training efforts in the region.

“We are very excited to
formalize our great working relationship with ITAC by the signing of this
memorandum,” said Laite. “Working with our
Indigenous tourism partners here in the province, experience development
initiatives are helping to showcase more of our provincial culture and heritage,
and by promoting synergies between our organizations, we hope to further the
development of Indigenous tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

According to recent research released by
the Conference Board of Canada
, Indigenous tourism employs over 1,000 people in
Newfoundland and Labrador, and sees $95.2 million in revenues.

HNL Tourism Excellence Awards Gala

Winners of the H. Clayton Sparkes Award, The Old Salt Box Co.

Winners of the H. Clayton Sparkes Award, The Old Salt Box Co.

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador hosted the annual Tourism Excellence
Awards Gala
on Thursday, Feb. 28, as the grand finale to the 36th Annual Conference and Trade Show. The Gala featured the presentation of the
Tourism Excellence Awards, recognizing the outstanding tourism leaders and
businesses that make great contributions to the provincial tourism industry.

“Newfoundland and Labrador’s
tourism industry is built on the hard work and vision of some of our province’s
most innovative and passionate entrepreneurs,” said Laite. “They believe in the value of sharing our natural and cultural wonders
with the world, while at the same time preserving our history, and their
dedication to growing this industry is second to none. I would like to commend
all the nominees and recipients of this year’s awards for the work that they do
and sincerely thank them for their contribution to Newfoundland and Labrador’s
tourism industry.”

The following is a list of
awards and award recipients. 

H. Clayton Sparkes
Accommodator Award of Excellence –
The Old Salt Box Co., which is eight completely restored Old Salt Box homes in locations on the Atlantic Ocean amidst the cliffs and endless scenery of coastal Newfoundland. 

CBDC Tourism Business Award of
Excellence –
Farm & Market at Clarenville Inn

Tourism Innovator Award –
Twillingate & Beyond Inc.

Tourism Champion Award –
Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Tourism Corporate Partner
Award –

Cultural Tourism Award –
Northern Lights Dog Sledding

Tourism Achievement Award –
Tineke & Marieke Gow, Artisan Inn & Vacation Homes and Twine Loft

Cruise Vision Award – Town of