May 27, 2009
CARAQUET (CNB) - Tourism operators gathered in Caraquet last week to celebrate the accomplishments of the industry and to recognize the efforts of their peers with the presentation of the 2009 Tourism Excellence and Innovation Awards.
"It is so important to take the time to recognize the outstanding work that is being done within the tourism sector in New Brunswick," said Tourism and Parks Minister Stuart Jamieson. "All of the businesses that have been nominated for these awards are exceptional examples of the creativity and innovation that characterize all of our successful tourism operators."
The Tourism Excellence and Innovation Awards celebrate achievements of the businesses, operators and organizations that capitalize on New Brunswick's natural wonders, rich heritage and cultural diversity in order to create outstanding tourism experiences. The awards recognize exceptional performance in product development, marketing and creative partnerships.
Nominations were evaluated by a panel of experts comprised of tourism industry representatives from New Brunswick and elsewhere who are recognized for their experience with, and knowledge of, the tourism sector.
The Rotary Club of Newcastle/Miramichi Rotary Pond Hockey Tournament won the Excellence and Innovation in Tourism Marketing Award. Five years ago, members of the Miramichi Rotary Club recognized that a rapidly growing interest in pond hockey offered an opportunity to meet their funding goal for a local tourism project. Among the many initiatives undertaken this past year were: a website offering online booking; participation in CBC Hockeyville; a corporate challenge with NHL alumni; and an invitation to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to drop the first puck, which gained extensive national coverage. A partnership with School District 16 and Aliant for filming and streaming of three games attracted an audience of almost 13,000 from across Canada and around the world.
edVentures Fredericton was honoured with two awards: Tourism Partnerships, and Tourism Product Development. The power of partnership is making the City of Fredericton a recognized destination in the growing niche market of learning vacations. By combining the strengths of Fredericton Tourism, the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, and local cultural and educational organizations such as the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the University of New Brunswick and Kings Landing Historical Settlement, Atlantic Canada's largest learning vacation program in craft and culture was begun.
edVentures Fredericton has taken a tourism trend and turned it into a product that is unique in the area, and is well thought out, managed and implemented. This travel experience has captured the attention of both vacationers and the travel media from across North America.
Ross Antworth was presented with the Minister's Award for Tourism Excellence for his efforts with the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (NBFSC). The award was created to salute individuals or organizations in the province who have undertaken special initiatives in support of the provincial tourism strategy that have resulted in significant economic spinoffs for the tourism industry, or have greatly enhanced the tourism experience for visitors.
Under Antworth's leadership, the NBSFC works with government and industry partners and all stakeholders as trail manager for the New Brunswick snowmobile trail system. This is an essential role, because important properly groomed trails are a safe and positive travel experience. Without Ross and the dozens of NBFSC volunteers who work on these trails to keep them groomed and accessible, New Brunswick's snowmobile product would be less world-renowned than it is today.
"It is a pleasure to formally acknowledge and commend the creativity and success of New Brunswick's tourism operators," said Jamieson. "I thank these operators for their continued efforts in promoting New Brunswick as a year-round destination. I am extremely proud of the significant achievements of the whole industry. Tourism is a key contributor to the economy of New Brunswick, and judging by the example of today's award winners, it is an industry poised for further growth and development."
MEDIA CONTACT: Alison Aiton, communications, Department of Tourism and Parks, 506-444-4454.