Celebrating the Best of Canada
2020 has been a year plentiful in curveballs for across the globe. We eagerly wait for leisure travel to safely resume at some point in the future but until then we’ll continue to reflect on incredible destinations, some of which exist in our own backyard! Kelly MacDonald, Manager of Industry Relations, shares stories of a successful program in Newfoundland below.
Newfoundland Trifecta – Puffins, Whales & Moose!
For those accustomed to travelling and exploring the many hidden gems and local hot spots of the world, the shutdown of global travel has been hard to bear. As Canadians, we are blessed to have rugged shores, access to fresh local grown cuisine, and diverse culture all within our own vast borders. For many of our clients, looking at safely holding an incentive travel program closer to home is a solution worth considering in these unprecedented times.
Looking back at the many great Canadian destinations our groups have visited over the years, Newfoundland stands out as a favourite among our clients. The gorgeous landscapes, the fresh seafood and the plethora of musical talent in this East Coast gem is enough to thrill even the most discerning of clientele.
Newfoundland’s biggest assets are its people. Newfoundlanders are described as warm and welcoming with a knack for storytelling and a flare for the creative. It is no wonder that Maclean’s magazine named Newfoundland & Labrador as one of the Top 10 Friendliest cultures in the world!
Creating a successful incentive itinerary in Newfoundland is a lesson in “outside the box” thinking. For a recent program, which we hosted in the capital city of St. John’s, we immersed our group in the culture, gastronomy and the music of this colourful province at every turn.
First up was a welcome dinner of fresh cod at the Crow’s Nest (a World War II Navy Club) scored by a guitarist to regale the group with local favourites. After a great night’s sleep at the new Jag Hotel and a local breakfast of homemade fishcakes, we set out travelling towards the Colony of Avalon.
A meandering 25-minute hike leads you to the Ferryland Lighthouse built in 1870 that juts out to the sea at the end of a long peninsula. Tartan blankets were provided as the group spread out to find their own special seating area to enjoy freshly made sandwiches and salads, lemonade served in mason jars and desserts chosen from chalkboard displays. This one-of-a-kind experience was backdropped by panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
After the picnic, we continued south to Bay Bulls to board our chartered boat to tour the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve Bird Islands, home to thousands of Atlantic puffins, murres and kittiwakes. The term Big 5 is commonly used in referring to an African safari: the quest to see the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo. The Newfoundland equivalent to this is the trifecta of a puffin, whale and a moose.
As we toured, our group admired thousands of puffins and many whales, leaving only the elusive moose to find. As luck would have it, returning to the hotel, a large moose was spotted on the side of the road and we were able to pull over so the group could snap some prized photos!
Our farewell dinner was held in the Gypsy Team Room located in the Murray Premises hotel. It was a magical night of delicious local cuisine, followed by a performance by two of the founding members of Spirit of Newfoundland who sang songs and told stories celebrating Newfoundland’s heritage. The perfect ending to a wonderful East Coast program – a true kitchen party!
Interested in Newfoundland for your next incentive program? Reach out to chat with me on how we can craft your own unique experience on The Rock.
If you are to travel within Canada at this time please be vigilant, follow all health and safety regulations in your region or prospective region, and look out for one another. Together we can work towards ending community spread and foster a safe travel environment for all once again.