Friday, August 29, 2008

Another blow for tourism in Western Newfoundland

For those from the UK the main alternative to the Gatwick-Deer Lake charter flights has always been to Zoom Airlines flights into Halifax from Gatwick, Manchester & Glasgow.
Unfortunately the airline suspended all operations last night (28th Aug 08), grounding all planes and laying off 600 staff. The announcement was forced when one of its creditors detained a plane from taking off, forcing the passengers off the plane!

This is bad news for everyone directly involved - but also it's extremely bad news for tourism on the Canadian Atlantic coast including Western Newfoundland. With the number of international airline routes in the area shrinking, I wonder what the ongoing future impacts are on the local economies? And jobs?

Some seem to think that the only tourists on Western Newfoundland are uber rich Humber Valley Resort chalet owners. They forget that actually the resort itself attracts (non owner) holidaymakers, who return home and promote the area to others ... and as local infrastructure and tourism developments, more and more businesses and resulting jobs will be created - and they in turn will have knock on effect to other business and jobs etc.

Tourism is an industry that Newfoundland is just really finding out about. The value of tourism is yet to be fully understood. The next big challenge is the issue of accessibility - and flights!

Local business group Humber Direct-Air (HDA) is working to try to secure a UK-Deer Lake route. More on HDA soon.

Links: Halifax Airport International routes - Zoom Airlines announcement - BBC on Zoom - Blog: Timing is Critical - Blog: Humber Direct-Air - Zoom video

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