This research investigates the opportunities for sustainable tourism development in the Burin Peninsula by carrying out a gap analysis based on current offers and opportunities. It couples this approach with a review of current tourism offers in the region to provide guidelines of future development of sustainable tourism in the Burin Peninsula.
In October 2019, as part of the Thriving Regions Program, the Harris Centre organized a workshop in the Burin Peninsula aimed at identifying priority themes for community development. This project was designed to reflect several of the community identified subthemes under the main theme “Realizing Our Tourism Potential”, which emerged as one of the key priorities identified during this first community workshop.
There tends to be longer, non-walkable distances between accommodations and attractions in the area. Within the loop, however, most of the mapped attractions are located within a few communities: Marystown, Grand Bank, St. Lawrence, Burin. Other communities have one to a few offerings, and many have none. There are numerous natural attractions, especially trails, that are underdeveloped and not advertised in the tourism website – especially in the southern loop. This highlights the potential for developing a network of trails. Similarly, not all cultural attractions and heritage sites are mapped and available to tourists. In particular, only one of the lighthouse sites is mapped in the province interactive map, and we suggest adding additional lighthouses and points of interest (e.g., the Tidal Wave Monument) to it. We identified different sites that could be readily added to the interactive map, as well as areas that could be developed and made accessible in the future.
We identified two main types of potential attractions:
1) Monuments, hikes, and points of interest, or services that are not mapped, thus cannot be accessed by visitors when planning their trip. Including these assets would require little or no investment.
2) Natural attractions and points of interest that could be added to the tourism offer but are in need of restoration and maintenance. Adding these assets to the network would require investments.
Of all types of attractions, hiking trails are one of the most abundant undeveloped assets in the Burin Peninsula, showing the largest potential for growth.
Overall, we found that there are gaps in the tourism network in the region relative to:
1) The availability of online information on existing cultural and natural attractions
2) The availability of trails and other natural attractions
3) Accommodation offers and restauration opportunities are concentrated in a few communities, while large areas of the region only offer one of the two or none
Based on these findings, we suggest taking the following actions:
1) Plan for a more comprehensive tourism network in the region including ecological and culturally significant sites that are not currently “on the map” for visitors to the Burin Peninsula
2) Plan for an expansion of the current trail network. Hiking trails are the attraction with the largest number of potential assets in the region and one of the main attractions bringing visitors to the area
3) When planning, consider the geography of the Burin Peninsula and prioritize developing attractions that will:
i) Create new nodes in the tourism network
ii) Extend current nodes (i.e., the Marystown and Burin area, St. Lawrence, the Fortune-Grand Bank area) and create new connections between communities. In the short term, consider including additional local restauration businesses to the provincial interactive map, as current options are limited to six venues. In the long term, plan for increasing the availability of restauration options and promote the consumption of locally sourced products.
St. John's Campus > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Geography
Saint Lawrence, NL
Grand Bank, NL
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