It only makes sense, is how Reg Wright, marketing director for Gander International Airport Authority, summed it up.
He was not being boastful in the fact GIAA won Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador’s Corporate Partner of the Year Award at HNL’s Tourism Excellence Awards Gala on Feb. 22, but instead in the reason behind the recognition for the award presented annually by HNL to a tourism industry partner that has been successful in developing creative and effective alliances within the tourism industry that improve HNL’s and the industry’s ability to achieve its goals.
“We (all businesses in the region with a tourism interest) have to be rolling in the same direction, and that’s what we’ve tried to do,” said Mr. Wright. “The airport is important in all of this as it is a welcome mat, so we’ve tried to do some little things to help things along…and it’s gratifying to see the results.
“Tourism is front and centre in whatever we do…it certainly helps us increase our opportunity to generate revenues for us, and we’re able to help the tourism sector with the services we provide. It really is win-win when we work together, and it’s great that we can all benefit from this.”
Mr. Wright said one of the major initiatives GIAA has been involved with that no doubt contributed in receiving this award has been partnering with Adventure Central — the region’s designation marketing organization. GIAA was one of the first to become associated with the group, offering pro bono office space for a satellite office from which the group could begin operations, as well as some pro bono advertising space for tourism at the airport.
“We also try to include tourism features in our news letters, and it’s front and centre when we meet with airlines…it’s an important part of the business case you try and make,” he said.
While receiving the award was a form of recognition for the effort put forth by GIAA in promoting tourism, Mr. Wright said it signifies so much more than just one company’s effort.
“Awards by their nature single out a person or an entity, but this award is really about all the partnerships, of which we are a part of, in central Newfoundland that has brought tourism together,” he said. “It’s really an award for everyone involved in tourism here because that’s who we’re working with to help benefit the whole picture.”
Even with provincial recognition, there are no plans for GIAA to sit idle in its tourism approach.
“We’re really excited where tourism has grown, and where it can go…there’s certainly a lot of potential for the future and it can benefit rural and urban businesses,” he said.