Clustering Tourism Products and Experiences – A Community Development Model

Gros Morne, NL

October 1-5 , 2018

Clustering Tourism Products/Experiences A Community Development Model

Today’s travelers are looking for unique and more in depth opportunities to engage inthe destinations they visit. In order to provide that opportunity, destinations must understand who their visitors are and design and offer products and experiences to fulfill the brand promise made to them. The ability to cluster unique tourism offerings is key to delivering amazing visitor experiences.

This mission will look at how the Gros Morne region of Newfoundland and Labrador has developed a community model that focuses on cluster development as it relates to adventure, culture and the beginnings of culinary tourism. A particular emphasis will be placed on using the Gros Morne Cooperating Association as a model that may be used in other parts of Atlantic Canada.

Participants on this mission will be exposed to the cluster development of tourism experiences and products that has taken place in and around Gros Morne National park.  Participants will experience many of the cultural tourism pieces that have been developed with a special emphasis on the role of Festivals and Events and the ability to cluster multiple offerings around these events.

Leading you over the three days will be Colleen Kennedy, the Executive Director of the GMCA, Jonathan Foster, Lead for GMIST, and a host of local entrepreneurs and community organizers. Colleen and her team are highly respected in Canada for their work in developing the GMCA into one of the most successful social enterprises in Canada.


Learning Objectives

  • To learn how to cluster tourism products and experiences
  • To visit a destination that has applied a visitor focused lens to their destination development
  • To learn first hand the successes and failures of a small business focused region
  • To learn steps taken to build a world class destination
  • To learn how to create investment opportunities for your organization – how doyou think differently about how you work – project based versus position based
  • To think differently about how you structure your destination’s organization –opportunities to create revenue streams to support efforts
  • Understand how to create partnerships that are real and beneficial for allinvolved
  • Understand how to utilize voluntary levies to create business opportunities
  • Understand how to identify key target markets for your destination
  • Learn why attention to detail and quality are critical ingredients to success
  • Learn how to navigate through sometimes strained relationships to get to an endgoal that is acceptable for the destination
  • Learn the importance of local foods and how to partner with those providers toenhance the experience
  • Understand how guests can gain a new perspective through the eyes of theartisan, chef, etc.
  • Learn how to involve tourists/consumers in your local traditions

Location:  Gros Morne, NL

Dates: October 1- 5, 2018

Estimated Costs – Airfare/Travel/Taxis $500 – 850, Accommodations $780, Meals $500, Miscelenaous $100 – Estimated Average Costs – $1800 – $2300.


Monday, October 1 , Day 1 – Arrival at Rocky Harbour (overnight at Ocean View Hotel $155/single plus tax – includes Breakfast)

5:00 – 6:30             Meet and greet at the Ocean View with special appetizer welcoming.

6:30 – 8:30             Supper

Tuesday, October 2, Day 2 – Gros Morne (overnight at Oceanview Hotel Rocky Harbour $155 single plus tax – includes Breakfast)

Session 1

8:30 – 10:30          Tourism Cluster Development – a look at the visitor profile for Western NL and how the region is developing product and experiences to meet those visitor needs

10:30 – 11:15         Travel to Western Brook Pond

11:15 – 12:30         Walk into Western Brook Pond for boat tour – grab and go lunch.

12:30 – 2:30          Bon Tours Boat Tour

2:30 – 3:30             Walk out and hear story of Bon Tours one of the biggest tour operators in Western NL.

3:30 – 4:00             Travel to Rocky Harbour

6:00 – 9:00             Taste of Gros Morne – Foodie Experience – Ian Stone and his team will take us on a culinary adventure and we will learn how he has designed his culinary offerings around a cluster of restaurants and experiences in Gros Morne.

Wednesday, October 3, Day 3  – Rocky Harbour – Woody Point (overnight at Bonne Bay Inn, $145 plus tax single includes breakfast)

Session 2

8:30 – 9:30             Role of Organizations in Cluster Development – the Gros Morne Model – Ocean View Conference Room – Colleen Kennedy will provide an overview of the GMCA model and what they have accomplished over the last 25 years with their contribution of close to $35 million dollars.

9:30 – 10:00            Travel to Norris Point – Bonne Bay Marine Station (BBMS).

10:00 –11:45         BBMS– Hear the story of the station and learn how they have patterned with local businesses and the park.

11:45 – 1:00           Lunch at the Old Store Café – Enjoy the tastes of one of Gros Morne’s Top Cafes’. Also hear their story.

1:10 – 2:45              Tales, Trails and Tunes – The Role of Festivals in Gros Morne and the importance they play in your destination.  (This will be expanded on further the following day)

2:45 – 3:30             Ferry to Woody Point (If weather is bad will drive around)

3:30 – 4:30             Free Time Woody Point

4:30                           Check into Bonne Bay Inn

6:00 – 7:30             Supper at Merchant Warehouse – also hear the story of business renewal from the owner Jenny Parsons

7:30 – 8:30             Paint Night – Local artisan will have us painting like a pro before the night is over.

Thursday, October 4, Day 3 – Woody Point (overnight at Bonne Bay Inn, $145 plus tax single includes breakfast)
Session 3

8:30 – 10:00          We will hear from the owner of Bonne Bay Inn, Darlene Thomas about challenges and successes she has had as a business owner.  We will also introduce in a bit more detail the Creative Gros Morne Model and talk about the value of Festivals and Events as a way to cluster cultural programming .

10:00 – 10:45        Gros Morne Summer Music – We will learn about this unique summer music event and the unique venue that hosts many of the concerts

10:55 – 11:45         Writers of Woody Point – This prestigious festival has been a key draw for visitors and locals to the region.

11:45 – 12:30         Lunch at Discovery Centre – Parks Canada

12:30 – 1:45           Parks Canada will talk about how they work with communities in the park

2:15 – 4:30             Tablelands Walk with Parks Canada – Importance of UNESCO and telling your story.

6:00 – 8:00             Closing supper and answering any final questions

Friday, October 5

Depart for Home