Tourism

The following is a transcript of notes taken from a discussion group
at the October 30th "Your City, Your Ideas" dialogue session.

Convenor: Gary Lane
Number of Participants: 6

  • Need to define why tourists come here
  • Keep part of the city "as it is"
  • Selling the city to tourists - we can do / should do a better job
  • First stop for most tourists is "downtown"
  • Give people "hands on" experience - traditional activities that are unique to us
  • Many tourists say their expectations or perceptions are exceeded
    • the people are friendlier than they expected
  • Downtown is considered clean & beautiful but other areas are not
    • downtown has lots of trees - other areas (suburbs) do not
      • dead trees are not being removed
      • new developments are clear cut
        • need laws to protect existing trees
        • rationale for clear cut is shallow root systems -
  • IDEA - Beautify the parkway median at MUN by planting a hedge to hide the fence
  • IDEA - re-establish the "neighbourhood beautification contest"
  • Municipal plan - council needs to stop its current "ad hoc" approach
  • Harbour front - Pier 7 felt to be the wrong type of development
    • Needs to be "tied in" to the whole area
    • "Working Harbour" is the attraction - don't block the view of that
    • New condos take advantage of that "working harbour" backdrop.
    • Need to hide the parking garage with a facade like a heritage structure
  • IDEA - Make Lemarchant Road area the location for Class A office space
    • Overlooks the city and harbour
  • Tourism message - provide training for the service providers / guides / shop keepers, etc.  about St. John's - the facts so they get the story straight.
  • Access to information - The province has a "binder" - the City needs a "binder" for tourism operators
  • Information about who provides what services - City Info Centre is great but greater access is needed
  • Ambassador program - excellent but it was felt that they seem to focus on cruise ships - need to expand program to other areas
  • Conferences and conventions are a better income generator for most merchants
    • More spouses attend when St. John's is the site for conferences/conventions than other destinations for many organizations.
  • Put greater effort into promoting the "return visit".
  • Cruise ships - seen as an expense by some businesses - no tourist revenue
    • benefit only to certain businesses such as tour bus operators - limited or no benefit to merchants - cancellations result in financial losses because extra staffing costs not covered.
    • Greater effort to make St. John's a "home port" for the cruise lines
    • Some merchants find that the smaller cruise ships have the "higher spending" passengers
  • Other concerns include the chronic rental vehicle shortage
  • If they are not already, the City and its neighbouring communities should partner in tourism development.
  • Question - What is the relevance of Destination St. John's to this discussion?

On February 28, during Committee of the Whole, Council will review the City’s annual capital budget plan for 2018.… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

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