Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 12:30 PM

Improved Signage and Marketing Initiatives to Enhance Tourism on the Northeast Avalon

Tourism is a key economic sector in Atlantic Canada that is creating good paying jobs, strengthening and diversifying our communities and boosting small businesses. The sector offers tremendous opportunity for further economic growth in the region.

The City of St. John’s and Destination St. John’s are capitalizing on this opportunity by undertaking new initiatives to attract more tourists to the capital city, improve their experience, encourage them to visit communities throughout the Northeast Avalon and extend their length of stay.

A comprehensive signage and wayfinding strategy will be implemented by the City of St. John’s, which will involve the development and installation of directional and informational signage, as well as establishing pedestrian kiosks to guide visitors and improve access to local destinations and attractions. The City will also focus on hub and spoke opportunities to increase visitation to neighbouring communities. This includes a partnership with the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philips which will become a spoke pilot community.

Destination St. John’s is currently developing a digital marketing and product development strategy that will respond to technology changes and shifts in consumer travel and buying behaviour, with an emphasis on the leisure and group travel market. The three-year initiative involves evaluating current digital tools, developing a new website and working with industry and other key stakeholders to create new high quality tourism products and experiences for the Northeast Avalon. 

The Government of Canada is providing non-repayable contributions totaling $432,348 for the two projects and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing $111,689. 

Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency(ACOA), along with the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, made the announcement today. 

These investments build on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy by helping the region’s tourism industry attract more visitors and create new jobs. This bold new approach is in line with Canada’s Tourism Vision, which seeks to make Canada a top-ten global tourism destination by 2025.

Quotes
“The Government of Canada is committed to creating opportunities for economic development and community diversification in Atlantic Canada by supporting key growth sectors like tourism. Our investments in the City of St. John’s and Destination St. John’s will help generate new tourism and economic activity for the city and surrounding communities and provide tourists with the best experience possible while visiting and exploring beautiful Newfoundland and Labrador.”
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“With our windy streets, peculiar names, and hidden gems, effective signage and marketing strategies are the only way visitors can get the full experience that awaits them in St. John’s and the Northeast Avalon.  From the East Coast trail to George Street, from the breathtaking scenery to the exciting music and theatre scene – visitors need to know about our diverse historical and cultural attractions to enjoy them. The initiatives announced today will further strengthen the innovative work the City of St. John’s and Destination St. John’s do to seize the full tourism potential of our neighbourhoods and neighbouring towns.”
- Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East

“The Provincial Government established priorities for improving the sense of arrival in our province as part of the Provincial Tourism Product Development Plan, an action of The Way Forward. Through these projects with the City of St. John’s and Destination St. John’s, we are enhancing the sense of arrival that visitors feel by focusing on strategic investments for digital marketing, signage, beautification, wayfinding, and other visitor services. We want visitors to feel instantly welcome and at home, connected to our people and to this place. This will increase our competitive edge and heighten Newfoundland and Labrador as a destination.”
- The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

“We are pleased with the support of the federal and provincial governments to help us realize an integral piece of tourism infrastructure in the metro region. Recommended in our economic development plan, Roadmap 2021, the themed signage and wayfinding program will improve the appeal and visitor experience in our region.”
- His Worship Danny Breen, Mayor of St. John’s

“Destination St. John’s is very excited to have the support of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Department of Tourism Culture Industry and Innovation in enhancing its ability to more effectively market the St. John’s region to national and international markets. With an increased emphasis on digital marketing, DSJ will now be well positioned with a new website, a content and digital marketing strategy and destination development capabilities, to grow tourism visitation to the destination.”
- Cathy Duke, CEO, Destination St. John’s

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing $152,348 in the City of St. John’s project through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF). Parks Canada is also providing a $5,000 in-kind contribution. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing $51,689, the City of St. John’s is providing $172,300 and the Town of Portugal Cove - St. Philip’s is contributing $4,534 toward this project. Downtown St. John’s is also providing a $7,700 in-kind contribution. 
  • The Government of Canada is also investing $280,000 in the Destination St. John’s project through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP). The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing $60,000, Destination St. John’s is providing $160,000 and the City of St. John’s is providing $60,000 toward this project.

Media Contacts:
Paul McGrath
Director, Communications
ACOA NL
709-772-2984
paul.mcgrath@canada.ca

Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819, 709-725-9655
erichumber@gov.nl.ca

Kelly Maguire
Media Relations
City of St. John's
709-576-8491
kmaguire@stjohns.ca

Rhonda Hutton
Director of Marketing
Destination St. John’s
709-739-8876
rhutton@destinationstjohns.com