GIAA President promotes partnerships; salutes Twillingate’s “titans of tourism”
(Sept. 6, 2013) Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA) President and CEO Gary Vey praised Twillingate’s “titans of tourism” for their continued work to champion the industry.
Mr. Vey made the remarks at a gathering of municipal and tourism leaders at the Anchor Inn September 5. The GIAA was in Twillingate to host its annual strategic planning session.
“Our airport is very fortunate to be just an hour and a half from Twillingate. For visitors from abroad, landing at Gander is the next best thing to landing on Iceberg Alley,” Mr. Vey said. “The growth of the tourism product here and throughout Central Newfoundland over the last half decade has been really encouraging – it is great to see new guest experiences, new investment, new partnerships and a renewed vision and focus.”
Mr. Vey said Twillingate/New World Island has set a very high standard for visitors to the area.
“You deliver a true coastal and cultural experience in a real Newfoundland outport,” he said. “Your winning recipe doesn’t rely on adding artificial ingredients. Twillingate is Newfoundland at her very best – real, raw, rugged and wholly authentic. All stakeholders are to be commended for what you have achieved here.”
Mr. Vey added that air service is a crucial component of developing the tourism sector, especially considering Newfoundland and Labrador’s remote location and an upward trend that has seen tourist arrivals by air growing six per cent over the last five years.
“The airport authority works to connect our air service development goals with the needs of our tourism industry. Four out of every five visitors to the province arrive by air,” he said. “However, 80% of them arrive through St. John’s. This is a challenge, but therein lays the opportunity. It’s obvious that a visitor who arrives using Gander Airport as a gateway will spend more time and money in the region than one who arrives elsewhere. The challenge for our region is to be a primary trip motivator, not an afterthought or a side trip on the way from east to west.
“As always, success in our region is the product of teamwork. Gander International Airport is a regional facility, run for and by Central Newfoundlanders for the betterment of the region. If it is good for Herring Neck or Joe Batt’s Arm or Head of Bay D’Espoir, it’s good for us all. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.”
Mr. Vey added that, as of the end of August, passenger numbers at Gander airport were up almost six per cent over last year. He is forecasting passenger traffic at Gander will reach a 25-year high in 2013.
The Gander International Airport Authority is the not-for-profit organization created in 1996 to manage operations at Gander International Airport (CYQX). The airport plays a key role in the economic and community development of the Central Newfoundland region. In 2013, the airport celebrates its 75th year of operations.
For further information, contact:
Gary Vey, President and CEO
Phone: (709) 256-6668