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Press Release: Tourism Southwest Inc. secures Funding for Marketing Project 2024

Updated: Feb 10

Rose Blanche lighthouse nestled against a blue sky and backed by a deep blue ocean.
The historic Rose Blanche lighthouse is a popular tourist attraction on the Southwest Coast.

According to Ruth Forsey/Gale, President of Tourism Southwest Inc. the great partnership with the Department of Energy, Industry and Technology continues with the recently approved funding to support the Marketing Activities for 2024 in the amount of $ 37,526.00. Tourism Southwest Inc., through its marketing levy will also contribute an additional $ 53,994.00 for a

total marketing budget for the 2024 tourism season of $ 91,520.00.

"I would like to thank Minister Andrew Parsons and his front-line staff for their continued support and partnership with ensuring that a strategic tourism marketing plan is available to promote Newfoundland’s Southwest Coast."

She went on to say that the volunteer board of directors continues to provide excellent leadership in directing the tourism activities for the region, and shared that Tourism Southwest Inc. (TSW) has long recognized tourism as an economic development

priority for the region. During the past several years the business network, comprise of 9

accommodations owners in Southwestern Newfoundland, has been successful in identifying and working toward addressing issues related to the general lack of awareness about tourism products available in the region. To increase awareness and promote the Southwest Coast tourism products during the past several years TSW developed a new web site and Facebook account, partnered with WDMO initiatives including ad campaigns and attendance at tradeshow, coordinated the development of short videos to use in social media, organized annual workshops to identify product development opportunities.

The TSW board recognizes the need to continue the marketing efforts and implement the new marketing and communications plan for the 2024 tourism season. This strategy will be focused on attracting Newfoundlanders from other regions of the province to visit Newfoundland’s Southwest Coast during the summer months and extend that strategy to attract visiting tourists.

The success of this summer season will be a coordinated approach involving the

accommodations owners and linking up with regional tourism operators to develop experiential tourism products that will entice visitors to the region. The efforts will concentrate on the products already being promoted in the region such as angling and ocean fishing, ATV tours, promoting the many fully services RV campgrounds, developing stay and play golf packages, featuring our many sandy beaches and walking and hiking adventures. These efforts will be in collaboration with the provincial tourism efforts, WDMO and partnerships between the accommodation owners and tourism operators in the region. The following strategic marketing opportunities need to be implemented to align with the new Marketing and Communications strategy for Southwest Coast:

1. Travel Guide add for 2024 is approved and cost $6,000.00, which is 100% funded by TSW

and supports the efforts of WDMO. This two-page advertorial of the region will be revised to fit with the new brand and messaging of the marketing plan for 2024.

2. TSW will attend the Ottawa Trade Show, Montreal Trade Show and The Halifax Trade show.

A detailed table outlining the trade shows to be attended and estimated costs is attached as

Appendix C.

3. Rack Card/Brochure Printing/Translation/Banner Bugs: Tourism Southwest replaced the

profile sheets with eight rack cards to align with industry standards and just need to be printed for the upcoming trade shows, VICs and levy operator’s locations. As well the ATV and lure brochure need to be translated and printed. Finally, a regional banner bug will be designed and translated and placed at strategic locations throughout Western Newfoundland to promote the region. These banner bugs will entice tourists who pass through Southwestern on route to Gros Morne to spend some time on their return trip in Newfoundland’s Southwest Coast.

4. Downhome Add will be redesigned to match the new marketing and communications plan and provide a good opportunity to reach a large audience throughout the province during the summer months. It will be more beneficial to advertise in at least 3 summer monthly Downhome magazines for this year to continue the efforts of targeting the Stay-at-Home vacationer and visiting tourist.

5. FAM tours need to be continued in the region. This provides an excellent opportunity to

promote the region’s tourism products to other tourism operators who can make referrals to our region. More effort will be made in the Gross Morne area this spring to get FAM tour

participation. As well TSW will work cooperatively with WDMO to bring travel writers to the

region to write about ATV products, birding, hiking and cultural experiences.

6. Way Finder Map is the cost associated with partnering with WDMO who develops a series of Wayfinder maps for Western Newfoundland with a targeted provincial maildrop and VIC

locations. There will also be accompanying pages on their website, and a social media campaign. TSW will contribute to the printing costs as well as supporting the maildrop for this Wayfinder Map.

7. Social Media Campaign: TSW will engage in a strong social media campaign this summer to attract staycation tourists and visitors to Newfoundland’s Southwest Coast. A new web site was developed, and tourism traffic will be directed towards this site. Facebook marketing will continue throughout the summer months with on average 2 posts per week and purchased Facebook ads of $500.00 per month to promote the tourism ready products in the region. TSW would like to take advantage of a new marketing trend of 10-15 seconds videos promoted on social media that attracts followers to the region. TSW has developed 12 short videos for marketing efforts in 2024. As well two FAM tour videos were developed to share with tourism industry partners. To have these videos played at Marine Atlantic Terminals and Gros Morne National Park the English wording needs to be followed by French. The intent this winter is to translate the FAM tour videos and a selection of the short videos for future use at Marine Atlantic Ferry Terminals and in the information center in Gros Morne. Ray Agency has developed a late fall and winter social media marketing campaign aimed at targeting tourists while they are planning their vacations to the province. TSW would like to continue this effort in 2024 to target visitors who have already decided to visit the province by social media ads to encourage them to visit Newfoundland’s Southwest Coast. Finally, TSW will review current inventory pictures of the region and select the ones that best fit the region’s tourism products. Where there are gaps the TSW board will engage a professional photographer to capture additional pictures, which will be used to enhance current listings on Newfoundland and as well as printed and social media advertising. These social medias efforts will improve the marketing efforts of Newfoundland’s Southwest Coast region.

8. Le Gabator Ad/ Francophone Tourism Guide: TSW will design and purchase a one-page ad in Le Gabator and the Francophone travel guide for 2024. Given Port au Port is the only bilingual district in the province TSW considers this a key marketing strategy, especially with the increase in the number of visitors from the province of Quebec.

9. Promotional Materials: Ray Agency of St John’s will design several promotional materials to be used during 2024 to promote Newfoundland’s Southwest Coast. These items will be approved by TSW board and utilized in the marketing strategy and campaign for 2024.

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