Off the beaten track

Dec 15th, 2014

By Cathy Newhook

Off the beaten track

Rugged coastlines, nature at your doorstep, waving laundry in the summer breeze all in the full saturation of a Crayola crayon box – rural NL has tourism by the whale’s tail. Or does it? Some places seem to have it all in hand, but what about the places “off the beaten track,” or rather “down the Burin Peninsula highway”?

This was a question raised at a Harris Centre Regional Workshop a while back, and Dr. Mark Stoddart with Memorial’s Department of Sociology took on the challenge and looked at the barriers and opportunities to making the road less traveled a road worth taking.

“There’s no doubt that tourism development can offer economic benefits through revenue and employment,” said Dr. Stoddart. “But beyond its economic impacts, tourism can create positive social impacts through the preservation of culture and history. At its best, tourism development can improve the quality of life for local residents by creating amenities and public spaces that work for visitors and communities. There isn’t one recipe for it though, for some regions, there are very real barriers to developing tourism.”

Dr. Stoddart’s report on tourism on the Burin Peninsula outlines those challenges for the region, as well as opportunities and strategies that may help.

“The Burin Peninsula has some truly unique features and fascinating stories, and is a beautiful part of the province,” said Dr. Stoddart. “Proximity to St. Pierre and Miquelon could be viewed as competition for the region, but looking at the whole region as a destination, and cross-promoting it could help drive the market.”

Another challenge for the area is the drive down the Burin Peninsula highway.

“The journey down the Burin Peninsula is part of the whole experience, and really has some amazing scenery and tourism potential,” explained Dr. Stoddart. “If it was seen as part of the whole experience and marketed as such, it could become a unique strength for the region.”

To read the full report visit



The Harris Centre

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000