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June 2, 2006
(Tourism, Culture and Recreation)

No Place Like Home Campaign Launched;
free admission to provincial historic sites and museums during Tourism Awareness Week

Tom Hedderson, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, and Nick McGrath, president of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, urged residents to vacation at home this year during a kick- off for tourism awareness week and the launch of the province�s 2006 resident campaign today at The Rooms.

No Place Like Home, the new in-province campaign, is designed to encourage people to take the time this summer to explore the nooks and crannies of this spectacular province. During the news conference, Minister Hedderson pointed out that there are many adventures and mini-escapes right here at home.

"You don�t have to go away to get away," said Minister Hedderson. "Everything you could possibly look for in a vacation, you can find in the province. People tend to take for granted what we have to offer. We hope to remind people about our incredible attractions, culture and natural beauty. From award-winning cuisine and great golf to extreme rock-climbing and awesome kayaking, there is something for everyone."

The campaign includes television, print and radio advertising which direct people to a customized Web site The website features getaway packages and value coupons for travel around the province. Residents can easily download the coupons online. This means no discarded or misplaced coupons. Packages include everything from hotel and golf getaways to a kayaking and picnic adventure.

"The great thing about this Web site- based program is that operators can easily change and update their packages as the months go into the summer and fall seasons," said Minister Hedderson. "So, keep checking this site because you don�t want to miss out on a fabulous deal. I urge you to take advantage of some of the special value deals and support our local operators. And, we encourage more businesses to partner together to keep creating new and interesting packages."

The focus of Tourism Awareness Week (June 5-11) is to celebrate the contribution of the tourism industry to the province. Tourism generates over $800 million in revenue annually to our province. It supports 26,000 jobs and an estimated 2,500 businesses.

"Tourism is a major catalyst for the economic development objectives of Newfoundland and Labrador and the resident market is a major component," said Mr. McGrath. "Throughout Tourism Awareness Week, we want to pay tribute to those who work so tirelessly in the industry and to "encourage people to be tourists at home this year."

Judy Sparkes-Giannou, chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Marketing Council, applauded the marketing efforts to promote local getaways and to encourage resident tourism.

"This campaign is designed to bring Newfoundland and Labrador to the forefront of travel intentions for residents of our province and to extend the tourism season for our tourism operators," said Ms. Sparkes-Giannou, who joined Minister Hedderson and Mr. McGrath for the announcement today. "Tourism operator participation in this campaign is key to promoting the continued growth and vitality of the tourism industry."

To further encourage resident traffic around the province, Minister Hedderson also announced free admission to all provincial historic sites and museums during tourism week. This includes:

  • Beothuk Interpretation Centre, Boyd�s Cove
  • Cape Bonavista Lighthouse, Bonavista
  • Commissariat House, St. John�s
  • Heart's Content Cable Station, Heart�s Content
  • Hiscock House, Trinity
  • Lester Garland Premises, Trinity
  • Mockbeggar Plantation, Bonavista
  • Point Amour Lighthouse, Labrador
  • Quidi Vidi Battery, St. John�s
  • Trinity Interpretation Centre, Trinity
  • Provincial Seamen's Museum, Grand Bank
  • Mary March Provincial Museum, Grand Falls
  • Loggers' Life Provincial Museum, Grand Falls
  • The Rooms, St. John�s
  • Some sites will be hosting special events during the week of June 5-11. At the Commissariat House, for example, there will be lace-making demonstrations on Thursday; traditional kids� games and activities next weekend, and Pamela Morgan will perform traditional 19th century ballads next Sunday afternoon (June 11). At the Quidi Vidi Battery, there will be costumed interpreters, guided tours, and open hearth cooking. Don�t forget to check out the new Christopher Pratt retrospective at The Rooms.

    "Our museums and sites are some of our most important tourist attractions, especially in rural areas where they have anchored the development of a tourist industry," said Minister Hedderson. "This is a wonderful opportunity to spend a few hours learning a little more about our culture and our history. And it�s a great activity to do with the kids."

    Minister Hedderson and Mr. McGrath will be attending various tourism events around the province next week to promote the new resident marketing campaign and the tourism industry overall.

    "We are joining forces to get the word out to vacation in Newfoundland and Labrador this year," said Minister Hedderson. "After all, there is no place like home."

    Media contact:

    • Susanne Hiller, TCR, (709) 729-0928, 728-7762;
    • Carol- Ann Gilliard, HNL, (709) 722-2000

    Did you know?

    Interesting factoids about Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Gros Morne National Park is 20 times older than the Rockies.
  • L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site is the only authentic Viking settlement in North America.
  • Two United Nations World Heritage Sites (UNESCO)
  • The greatest natural light show on earth, the Northern Lights plays to audiences in Labrador on over 240 nights a year.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador has the largest population of spectacular humpback whales in the world, over 29 varieties of marine mammals.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador is home to some of the world's largest and most accessible seabird colonies, with over 35 million seabirds gathering every year.
  • Largest Atlantic Puffin sanctuary in North America at the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. This provincial bird is also called The Sea Parrot.
  • Most accessible wildlife in North America. George River Caribou herd is the largest caribou herd in the world. Other abundant wildlife including moose and black bear.
  • World Class Angling. Over 200 Atlantic Salmon Rivers and we have world class trophy brook trout fishing.
  • Multi-adventure activities for all levels. Bike to the edge of the Bay, hike from the coastline to the highest mountain top, kayak through the deepest fjord. Touted by some of the world's top paddlers as "one of the best sea kayaking destinations on this planet."
  • Choose from over 20 golf courses sculptured against the backdrop of our spectacular seacoast, waterfalls, tree-lined fairways and surrounding hills.
  • One of the most prolific arts communities in Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador is renowned for poetry, song, art and craftsmanship.
  • Over 200 festivals and musical events every year and that doesn't include Aunt Sarah's kitchen party.
  • Archaeological sites dating back 9,000 years, from aboriginal sites including Maritime Archaic Indian, Palaeoeskimo, and Beothuk Indians to European sites.
  • 2006 06 02                             1:00 p.m.

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