Promoting your community’s niche

Transforming tourism along the coast of Newfoundland

For many Canadian communities, tourism is important to more than just the local economy—it also provides many social and cultural benefits. As part of a larger project investigating how tourism affects coastal regions, Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Mark Stoddart is looking at how the province’s Burin Peninsula could boost its tourism industry.

The key, according to Stoddart’s findings so far, may be in finding the right balance between promoting a place’s uniqueness—in Burin’s case, its ecological reserve, local shipwrecks, and bootlegging history—and connecting the area to other major nearby tourist destinations. Vacation packages for the Burin Peninsula, for example, could leverage the fact that the community is surprisingly close to the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

While Stoddart’s research is not yet completed, he hopes its preliminary results will help coastal Newfoundland create a social network of tourism operators and promoters, and lead to a broader strategy for transforming the tourism economies in communities throughout the region.