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How do you embrace change?

by Nancy Arsenault on January 27, 2015

W1966704_10203949550572052_731633540077134373_nhen the wind of change blows some build walls others build windmills.




Did you know tPrinthat the National Geographic Society launched a recognition program for  ‘Unique Lodges of the World’?

Selecting 24 businesses from six continents, the Nimmo Bay Resort (BC) and Fogo Island Inn (NL) were the only two in Canada recognized in this inaugural collection of amazing boutique properties who demonstrate a world class commitment to sustainability, authenticity and excellence.

Beyond being an amazing property with their physical infrastructure, this award also values the visitor experience by evaluating the “quality of service and inspiring experiences — from activities that enable them to engage with local people to wildlife encounters with seasoned naturalists.” And, appreciating no one is successful alone, and visitors want to connect with the people in the places they visit, this award also considers the company’s commitment to conservation and green operations, protecting local cultural heritage and providing real benefits to community.

o-NIMMO-BAY-RESORT-BC-570Nimmo Bay Resorts Heli-Adventure in the Wilderness is a Canadian Signature Experience, as designated by the Canadian Tourism Commission, that I have followed for years and used as a teaching example of excellence. A family business owned by Craig Murray (BC) and Deborah Murray (NL). I’ll never forget my first interview with Craig where he shared their philosophy for their company and the importance, for them, of music, humor and attention to detail as being core to their business.  For years in teaching experiential travel I have asked people to think about “What are your core experience elements?”

fogo-island-innThis past week, on the opposite end of the country I met Zita Cobb, owner of the Fogo Inn and her new GM Steven Cannizzaro. While it was an informal visit as part of our Destination Development Planning project activities, I was struck by Zita’s passionate commitment to the visitor experience, connecting her guests to the local community, preserving local heritage and setting up a mentoring program to help the youth understand how career choices they make will influence if they can stay in their home community, or it will take them away – permanently.

Speaking with Steven I learned that during the winter months one of their staff members was working at another iconic property for tblog-default-642-380he Wickinninish Inn in Tofino – 8000+ kms away on Vancouver Island (and a company that partners with Nimmo Bay); also a Canadian Signature Experience. “The Wick” as it is fondly known of by the locals is a company that is committed to professional development and education, and has shared their knowledge with us on two Atlantic Canada Adventure Tourism Best Practice Missions in the past couple of years.

It’s a small world, but reading about the National Geographic recognition reinforces that business with outstanding practices from coast to coast are putting us, and keeping us on the map. They also operate with principles of practice that any tourism business, big or small, can take to heart:

  • Focus on the visitor experience;
  • Be part of your community, give back, and engage the locals so they benefit, the visitors benefit;
  • Share staff  to augment another operators’ capacity, your capacity;  it’s a great form of professional development;
  • Sustainable communities are part of the solution for ensuring a sustainable business;
  • Partner and align with other companies and individuals that share your values, standards and commitment to excellence;
  • Collaborate to compete;
  • Be passionate, caring, creative, innovative and dare to be different.

Hospitality Newfoundland and LabradorAnd, as Craig Foley of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador says when he’s coaching a business: “Have clarity of purpose in what you do.” Know why you do it, know how you differ from others and the appeal that differentiator has in terms of  value to your customers, community, and business partners.



Baby Boomers: A Tourism HR Solution Companies Must Consider

January 12, 2015

Destination plan, after destination plan, all have one common denominator – HR challenges. Right across Canada the tendency to focus on youth employment is noble, but not meeting our demands.  At the other end of the spectrum there is this mass bubble of people, that will continue to become available, called Baby Boomers! A recent Baby […]

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Canada’s Tourism Industry Falling Behind

January 5, 2015

Each year we hear how Canada’s tourism industry continues to slide from our glory years in 2000 when we were 8th in the world. Today we sit in 17th position and declining, a 15% decline in international tourism according to the UNWTO Tourism Barometer. Hot off the press is a Deloitte study titled  “Tourism in Canada: […]

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Happy New Year

January 2, 2015

Here’s wishing you a fabulous year in tourism for 2015. We look forward to continuing to post thought provoking ideas and information for those interested in tourism product and market development, experiential and sustainable tourism, and cool things we find that we think may be of interest. And  as we begin the new year, I’m […]

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Happy holidays from all of to you all of you

December 23, 2014

Enjoy the best of the holiday season as you enjoy family, friends and some time to relax and reflect on an amazing year! From Todd, Paul and Nancy – we thank you for following our Blog, look forward to many more posts in 2015 and wish you the very best in tourism for the next year.

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TripAdvisors Green Leaders Program Certifies and Rewards Sustainable Tourism

December 19, 2014

Just wanted to share news of TripAdvisors New Green Leaders program. GreenLeader hotels and B&Bs apply to be included in the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Programme. If accepted, GreenLeaders achieve one of four statuses: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The higher the status, the greater the impact of a property’s green practices. If there is anything we […]

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Passionate People!

November 27, 2014

WOW – nothing gets me more jazzed than working with passionate people! Their energy, desire for positive change, willingness to ‘dare to be different’, take ‘bold niche steps’. It’s the food that feeds amazing tourism development and is infectious! Just from the worlds I’m connected with at this  moment, I see the buzz and enthusiasm […]

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Where’s Todd? At the Edge, again.

November 23, 2014

Explorer’s Edge Best Practice Mission Sustainable Tourism: Culinary • Cultural • Experiential • Nature This past week I was very pleased to welcome Atlantic Canada tourism allies to my Algonquin Park home, Northern Edge Algonquin in the ‘Explorer’s Edge’ region of Ontario.  The purpose of this mission was to showcase a range of tourism experiences […]

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NOTO’s Bear Pit Session

November 19, 2014

Surrounded by 300 tourism businesses (lots of outfitters), and industry supporters, the Nature Outdoor Tourism Organization opened the floor at their industry conference to ask ‘what’s holding you back’.  Here were the highlights of issues raised We need more like minded people working together because sometimes we are our own worst enemy! Government interventions – […]

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