Press Release: New Sustainable Tourism Advisory Committee

February 4, 2024

For Immediate Release:

New Sustainable Tourism Advisory Committee Focused on Promoting Industry Capacity and Leading Tourism Plan Implementation

The Clarenville Area is already well known for its tourism amenities and attractions with it being home to the White Hills Ski Resort, the Clarenville Nordic Ski Club, Arts Under The Stars Summer Music Series and the Farm and Market Clarenville. In addition, being a service centre, there are many amenities in the area which have been largely untapped and have the potential for future tourism development and expansion.

To further the untapped tourism potential in the greater Clarenville Area, in 2022, the Town applied for funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the provincial Department of Industry, Energy and Technology to develop its first Sustainable Tourism Enhancement Program (STEP). Through guidance from the STEP Working Group – a group of industry stakeholders – the first Sustainable Tourism Enhancement Plan was completed in September 2023.

The new Tourism Plan focuses on five key priority areas that aim to building industry and operator capacity, market the Clarenville Area as a tourism destination and develop a visitor interception strategy. The STAC Committee will also regularly report on its progress to the community.

To assist with the implementation of the new Tourism Plan, the Town of Clarenville, in collaboration with the Sustainable Tourism Advisory Committee (STAC), recently hired April Mills, as a new Tourism Coordinator. Building on the five priority areas outlined in the Tourism Plan, Ms. Mills will work closely with the STAC Committee to assist the implementation of a 3-year Action Plan.

The STAC Committee has met twice since December and recently elected Neil Norcott, a local realtor, as Chairperson with Brian Avery as the Vice-chair.

“The incredible work of the STEP Working Group supports the Town’s priority in promoting tourism and growing the business sector,” says Mayor John Pickett. “The leadership shown by this group will help position the Clarenville area as an exciting destination of choice.”

The Clarenville Area is demonstrating that it has real tourism potential with several local groups and organizations working already towards implementing priorities highlighted in the new Tourism Plan. Recently, the Town of Clarenville hosted its augural Wheels and Heels Fall Festival which provided unique and authentic outdoor adventures combined with culinary experiences and sold-out concerts.

Last year, the White Hills Ski Resort was chosen the winner of the 2023 Mackenzie Top Peak Challenge and received the top prize of $100,000. In a similar fashion, the Discovery Trail Snowmobile Association, another local organization, was awarded the 2023 Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations Business Recognition Award for Tourism. And finally, Gypsy Sea Adventures, a local adventure tourism operator, was recently highlighted on a HGTV’s Brian All In with celebrity host Brian Baeumler.

“The vision for the Sustainable Tourism Plan is to ensure The Clarenville area will be recognized as a year-round destination attracting visitors through authentic and high-quality visitor experiences. With our vast array of diverse opportunities, visitors will be able to enjoy year-round tourism experiences that are unique to this region.” says Neil Norcott, Chair of the Clarenville Area Sustainable Tourism Advisory Committee. “Through collaboration among the tourism operators, the extent of these unique experiences is endless. We look forward to implementing the Tourism Plan over the next 3 years, and in doing so, making sure that the Clarenville Region is a go to destination year in any season.”

Additionally, the Town is planning for a new winter festival called Trails, Tracks and Tunes and it is about to roll out a new Wayfinding, Marketing and Attraction Strategy; each aims to bring new visitors to the Clarenville Area and showcase the area as a tourism destination.

In the coming months, the STAC Committee has set its sights on finalizing the 3-year Action Plan, hosting its first Tourism Forum in the spring, and continuing to assist local tourism operators build capacity before the summer tourism season begins.

For additional information on the Clarenville Area Sustainable Tourism Plan, contact Colin Holloway at




This Clarenville Sustainable Tourism Plan was prepared through the Strategic Tourism Expansion Program (STEP), a sustainable tourism development planning process with a focus on creating memorable tourism experiences. STEP is designed to help communities and tourism

businesses with above- average visitor potential to develop experiential tourism products and techniques for digital/online marketing enhancement and tourism investment in collaboration with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”

The Clarenville Area Sustainable Tourism Plan is guided by five priority areas:






For a digital copy of the Clarenville Area Sustainable Tourism Plan, please go to: Clarenville and Area Sustainable Tourism Plan | The Town of Clarenville | Real Life Potential

Last modified: February 4, 2024

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