Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
March 8, 2019

Growing Geotourism on the Bonavista Peninsula

Recognizing the opportunities for continued tourism growth on the Bonavista Peninsula, Discovery Aspiring Geopark Inc. (DAGI) is further developing the region’s rich geological and cultural heritage with a goal to establish a geopark and achieve UNESCO Global Geopark designation. Obtaining this prestigious designation would raise the area’s geological significance on the world stage and advance the province’s geotourism industry.

DAGI is currently developing five sites of geological importance, which will be part of the 10 sites identified in the region for its UNESCO Global Geopark application. Project activities include installing interpretive signs, developing promotional materials and marketing tools and creating educational materials on the area’s geology. This initiative also involves community engagement activities, securing sponsorships, professional development and training at national and international conferences, and hosting a UNESCO evaluation site visit.

The Provincial Government is contributing $148,750 to the project, and the Government of Canada is providing a non-repayable contribution totalling $386,750.

The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, made the announcement today along with Churence Rogers, Member of Parliament for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Minister Mitchelmore and MP Rogers were joined for the announcement by Neil King, MHA for Bonavista.

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 approach is in line with Canada’s Tourism Vision, which seeks to make Canada a top-10 global tourism destination by 2025.

The tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador generates over $1.1 billion in visitor spending each year, and is responsible for over 20,000 jobs, representing nearly 2,800 businesses.

Supporting projects such as the Discovery Aspiring Geopark in Bonavista delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the economy. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“Support from our government into Discovery Aspiring Geopark will further strengthen its quest to become a UNESCO Global Geopark. This investment will assist in solidifying this designation, and help raise the area’s geological significance on the world stage, while advancing the province’s geotourism industry. Discovery Aspiring Geopark is a great complement to the many high quality tourism offerings on the Bonavista Peninsula, providing another layer of activity that may be of interest to visitors attracted by arts, culture and nature-based tourism experiences.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

“The Government of Canada understands that tourism is an important industry in Atlantic Canada that offers a tremendous opportunity for further economic growth. We are committed to investing in smart initiatives like this one with DAGI that are creating new and innovative tourism experiences in the region, fostering sustainable economic development and strengthening and diversifying communities.”
Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Bonavista Peninsula’s unique culture, beautiful landscape and wonderful historical attractions make it one of the province’s top tourist destinations. The region also boasts amazing geological features and earth history that provide additional opportunities for tourism growth and economic development. That is why we are pleased to support DAGI in developing the region’s geotourism assets and creating a quality experiential tourism product with an international appeal, which will draw more visitors to the Bonavista Peninsula and give residents a sense of pride over their geological heritage.”
Churence Rogers
Member of Parliament for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity

“The rich cultural history of the Bonavista Peninsula is well known. What is less well known is the rich geology of our region. The funding announced today work towards establishing and highlighting world-class geological sites for the benefit of both residents and visitors. I look forward to continuing to support Discovery Aspiring Geopark Inc. as they continue to grow and works towards becoming a UNESCO Geopark.”
Neil King
MHA for Bonavista

“As a candidate for UNESCO Global Geopark designation, ACOA and TCII’s support will allow us to promote the region’s geological heritage on a global platform, while enhancing regional sustainable economic development. By working together, this funding will help us to strengthen regional partnerships to highlight the pillars of a UNESCO Global Geopark. This support will also allow us to expand visitor and tourism experiences by increasing branded interpretation at geosites and creating marketing and promotional materials.”
John Norman
Chair, Discovery Aspiring Geopark Inc.

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Learn more

Discovery Aspiring Geopark Inc. external link icon

Provincial Tourism Product Development Plan PDF

The Way Forward

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Media contacts
Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819, 725-9655

Paul McGrath

Dianne Randell
Government Members Office
709-729-6854, 689-0786

Amanda McCallum
Discovery Aspiring Geopark Inc.

2019 03 08                              1:55 p.m.