NZTRI Facilitates Destination Development Forum on Market Readiness at UNESCO World Heritage Site in Canada

On May 26th, Associate Director John Hull facilitated a forum which brought together 35 residents living adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at L´anse aux Meadows, Northern Newfoundland on Canada´s east coast. The site is recognized as the only authenticated Norse settlement in North America. Working with the Parks Canada Agency, the forum was divided into four sessions. The overall goal of the forum was to establish a five year vision for tourism in the region. After an introductory visioning exercise, a review of global, national and regional trends in tourism provided participants with a context for determining how best to offer market ready tourism products in the region. A number of global best practice case studies were summarised one of which included the community of Kaikoura, New Zealand. An audit of regional websites by the NZTRI web team and feedback from local government, businesses and attractions provided an indication of the challenges and opportunities facing the destination which welcomed approximately 26,000 visitors in 2008. In the final session organised around small group discussion, participants identified the need to form a network to develop new packages and experiential activities for the area and to set criteria to ensure a quality product. A new portal website and a packaging workshop are scheduled for completion by the end of 2009.