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Colours all around us

Newfoundland and Labrador’s tourism advertising campaign has for years been drumming up steady business.

This still image from an early scene in the new provincial government advertisement "Crayons" to promote Newfoundland and Labrador as a tourism destination was shot in Cavendish.

The pristine images of colourful row houses and clotheslines nestled next to saltbox homes overlooking the harbour have captivated national audiences and sold many on the idea of exploring what this province has to offer. A dart over to any tourist destination for a chat with visitors from outside the province will tell you as much — these ads pique their curiosity.

It’s a testament to the award-winning work of St. John’s Target Marketing that we continue to make gains on tourism. Non-resident visits by ferry and air exceeded 462,000 for the period ending October 2015, which was reportedly on par for the previous year. The province estimates tourism generates over $1.1 billion in spending annually.

With the launch of the latest provincial advertising campaign last month — titled “Find Yourself” — it’s striking to see how many communities in the Trinity Conception area are represented. Brigus, Cavendish, Hant’s Harbour, New Perlican, Old Perlican, Red Head Cove and Salmon Cove all earn some screen time in a 90-second clip that will air on a variety of platforms over the next few months.

A drive along Route 80 through Trinity South makes for a nice journey any given day. Our coastal communities have an everlasting charm, and they all have unique quirks and characteristics.

The fact the people recognizing the appeal of places like Brigus and Hant’s Harbour are tasked to think hard about selling Newfoundland and Labrador to national and international markets (they’re buying ad time on Air Canada flights) bodes well for the Trinity Conception area.

The towns themselves need to be proactive in finding ways to take advantage of Newfoundland and Labrador’s favourable profile as a tourism destination. The plunging price of oil may prove to be a further boost to tourism this summer, with gas prices low and airlines offering enticing sales (Marine Atlantic meanwhile bumped it rates up slightly last week for the 2015-16 season).

Event planning, beautification projects and measures to support businesses should be on the agenda. Getting a head start on all of this will ideally pay dividends when the tourism season hits.

With so much uncertainty surrounding the general economic health of Newfoundland and Labrador, now is the time to think about how we can best benefit from tourism.

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