Blog Archives

It’s All About Regional Marketing…

In 2010, my mom and I traveled to Ireland. We rented a car and went from Cork-Kinsale-Killarney-Galway-Sligo-Belfast-Giant’s Causeway-Dublin-Kilkenny-Waterford-Wexford-London. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city (about the size of St. John’s, NL), however, just a short distance away is Kinsale, a small town that is known for its food culture. With 2,257 people it is about the size of St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. The regional marketing had us take the drive to the neighbouring community. It was an experience!

DSC_0877

The Provincial Government has cut its marketing budget by 25%. Despite winning 183 awards and being internationally recognized, the market for the International, out-of-province and local market is highly competitive and stakeholders will have to do more to market their business to maintain their bottom lines. I believe it’s all about regional marketing, let’s pool our resources and develop vacation guides, business directory, updates, mini-sites and more in a modern Viking Trail Tourism website.

Check out how Kinsale market’s itself: http://kinsale.ie/.

The Great Northern Peninsula has many reasons for which one must visit. Here is a short-list:

  • Gros Morne National Park, WORLD UNESCO Site – home to the Table Lands and 155,000 visitors annually.
  • L’Anse aux Meadows, WORLD UNESCO Site – more than 1,000 years ago, the Vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America. The only authenticated North American viking site. Nearby, Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade is home to the replica viking ship, the Snorri. Wonderful cuisine en route: The Daily Catch, Northern Delight, Snow’s Take-out and The Norseman Restaurant.
  • Community of 50 Centuries, Bird Cove – for more than 5,000 the Maritime Archaic Indians, Paleo-Eskimo, Gros-Water Eskimo and recent Indians. As well, a Basque presence and Captain James Cook cairn. Port au Choix National Historic Site has unique interpretation of archaeology and history.
  • The French Shore (Petit Nord) – Conche’s Interpretation Centre is home to a 222 ft tapestry depicting the French history, the Granchain Exhibit is found in St. Lunaire-Griquet
  • Grenfell Historic Properties – highlights the legendary Sir Doctor Wilfred Grenfell, his International Association, residence and his economic development through the co-operative process. Grenfell Historical Foundation and Handicrafts remain an integral part of the continuing story. Grenfell Memorial Co-op is the Newfoundland & Labrador’s oldest consumer co-op. Nearby are the Jordi Bonet Murals, Northland Discovery Boat Tours, Polar Bear Exhibit & Fishing Point Park.
  • Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve – home to more than 300 plants, 30 of which are rare and one Burnt Cape cinquefoil, which the Great Northern Peninsula is the only place in the world where this species grows. Raleigh is also home to a fishing village and carving shop.
  • Leifsbudir – The Great Viking Feast is the only sod restaurant in North America, built into the rock of Fishing Point, St. Anthony
  • GNP Craft Producers – a unique gift shop that makes seal skin products and shares the history of seal skin boot making. In nearby Flower’s Cove one will find “Seal Skin” boot church. The community is also home to thrombolites (existing on just a few places on earth).
  • Deep Cove Winter Housing Site – a National Historic Site is an open air museum which highlights the way of life residents experienced in both summer and winter living. It is south of Anchor Point which is home to the peninsula’s oldest consecrated cemetery.
  • Torrent River Salmon Interpretation Centre – the Interpretation centre in Hawke’s Bay is a must for the salmon enthusiast. Beyond the mighty Torrent, many salmon rivers exist in Main Brook. Roddickton-Bide Arm is a great place to also participate in recreational hunting and fishing, it is home to the natural Underground Salmon Pool.

An array of walking trails, nature, wildlife, icebergs, whales, recreational hunting and fishing, picturesque outport communities, attractions, shops, restaurants,  crafts, festivals, events,  local culture and heritage and people who will make any visit a treasured experience on the Great Northern Peninsula. We make need to take a page out of Kinsale’s book, and work as a region to pool our marketing resources and create a more dynamic on-line presence that takes in our region’s unique offerings!

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula & start planning your vacation today!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

The Giant’s Causeway…part III

 

Pillers 12 meters high

In mid-November Live Rural NL author, Christopher Mitchelmore spent two weeks on vacation with some time in Ireland exploring Irish roots.  The Giant’s Causeway is a magnificent space to spend the day. I recommend to plan ahead and bring a snack to have a picnic by the sea.          
 

Posing on the trail with the hills and water in the background

 
Posing on the trail with the hills and water in the backgroundthe hillside green and beautiful orange glow, takes me back to a simpler time – a time when nature ruled and development was from human interference was far away.

A lonely walker on the trail at sunset

We stayed almost until sunset, climbing to the top to get a great aerial view of the 37,000 basalt columns.

 

The View from Above

Upon reaching our car, we decided to stop by a coffee shop in a small neighbouring village before driving to Dublin, Ireland to meet Marcel. The Giant’s Causeway has been a big highlight of my last European vacation.

Find your highlight here –

Live Rural NL 0 Christopher Mitchelmore 

 

The Giant’s Causeway…

The Giant’s Causeway was declared a World UNESCO Heritage Site. It is a scenic wonder of almost 40,000 basalt pillars that are a result of an ancient volcanic reaction.

The National Trust manages the Giant's Causeway

We were fortunate to miss out on this wonder the day prior, as it rained early evening. During our visit Friday afternoon we were greeted with many rays of sunshine.

The walk to the Causeway

We opted to walk to the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland, versus take the trolley bus.

Looking back...

As we look back we see some fisher people in their little outboard boat.

A boat out to sea

The walked was certainly worth seeing the thousands of hexagonal pillars ranging in varying heights.

Part of the Giant's Causeway

We spent awhile admiring the nature’s beauty. Stay tuned for additional posts relating to the Giant’s Causeway.

It is a must see in Northern Ireland!

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

In & Around Belfast City, Northern Ireland

When I think of my two visits to Belfast I often re-call and probably sang more than I should have the lyrics of Black Velvet Band:

City Center, Belfast

Her eyes they shone like the diamonds You’d think she was queen of the land
And her hair hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band.
In a neat little town they call Belfast
Apprenticed to trade I was bound
And many an hour’s sweet happiness
I spent in that neat little town.
Till bad misfortune came o’er me
That caused me to stray from the land
Far away from my friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band.

Opera House

 We arrived in Belfast late Thursday night, checked-in and found a grand pub to get some really good grub. They even had a fire lit and a Celtic musician playing some tunes for the patrons. We had a couple of beers at the pub before calling it a night.

Belfast Christmas Market at City Center

An early morning led us to the City Center, where we decided we would do some shopping.

The City Center boasts excellent shopping. I remember in December 2007, touring the booths at the Christmas market. In 2010, during mid-November they were just getting set-up outside of the City Hall Building. I managed to purchase a jacket and lots of clothing, as well as a couple of sweaters for my sister as a Christmas present.

The Crown Bar

 
Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland and the second largest city of the island of Ireland. It has significant infrastructure and an inviting waterfront. We enjoyed a healthy lunch before taking a ride in the Hyundai Getz to the North to see the Giant’s Causeway.
 
We had a tight schedule as we had to arrive in Dublin later Friday night as we were meeting our final friend joining us for the vacation.
 
I enjoy the countryside of Ireland immensely. It reminds me of the beautiful scenery that is comparable in rural Newfoundland. However, there
are some vast differences as well, including the unique trees at roadside.

Trees at roadside to Giant's Causeway

 
Combining urban and rural regions while on vacation can really create a unique travel experience.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
 
 
 

I fell in Love with the Galway Girl…

Inside the Tig Coili

Galway, Ireland is such a trendy city. It has been coined Ireland’s Cultural Heart as it boasts a vibrant lifestyle with a number of festivals and special events. 
 
We decided to drop into the “Tig Coili”, which was recommended by a Canadian travelling abroad. He was originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, which I had returned from only three weeks prior. We talked about Neechi Foods, Mondragon Bookstore & Coffee House, and the Chocolate Shop Restaurant.

JR & Sue Ellen were at the "Tig Coili"

 JR & Sue Ellen were at the “Tig Coili”The Tig Coili was a real treat. On sat with our pints just under a photo of Larry Hagman & wife with Linda Grey, who starred as Sue Ellen and J.R. Ewing on Dallas. This made me very happy, as I started purchasing the series in early 2008 and have 10 seasons under my belt.  This certainly put a smile on my face, knowing these TV titans also visited this venue. The pints were easy to go down, with a group of musicians playing fiddles and squeezeboxes. It was very relaxing.

A selection of beers on tap

 
Galway, even mid-week, mid-November presented an opportunity to crowd into an establishment and hear a great band perform with everyone raising their beer glasses. This reminded me of the movie, “P.S. I Love You“, when the lady goes to the pub and hears the man she met earlier sing, “I Fell In Love with the Galway Girl“. The energy in the room provided a great feeling of excitement as we celebrated being in Ireland with friends and family. That night we would be joined by another friend, Tobias, from Germany.
 

I Fell in Love with the Galway Girl....Party in Ireland

 
Galway is a vibrant city, which I hope to return to visit the streets once more.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
%d bloggers like this: