Last September, the Lodge was pleased to announce that 90% of its 14 employees were from the local area.
In its 12th season of operation, Trout Point is proud to say that has a truly home-grown (and fantastic) staff, truly representative of the local area. The only employee out of a current 14 from the outside area is the new staff astronomer, who graduated from Halifax’s St. Mary’s University and is native to New Brunswick. All 13 live in Yarmouth County, most in Kemptville itself.
Why is local so important? For one, it greatly increases the beneficial impact that Trout Point can have on the local economy. For another, it enhances the Lodge’s geotourism values; employees who live and play in the local region provide a more worthwhile, experiential experience for our guests. They become our concierges. Finally, it restores a Kemptville, NS tradition of guides, lodges, and nature tourism that deserves reinvigoration.
Trout Point has concluded its planning for the 2012 season, extended now from May 1 to November 30, and it looks as though 100% of the fabulous core team of 14 will be returning employees!
This includes locals hired as early as 1998 & 2003 to those who just joined the Lodge staff last year. As noted in this presentation, local hiring is an integral component in developing and sustaining a tourism destination:
What does Geotourism add?
- Builds on “sense of place” ‐ a destination’s geographical character & distinctiveness
- It’s synergistic ‐ All the elements of geographical character work together to create an experience that is richer than the sum of its parts
- Involves the community ‐ Provides a distinctive, authentic experience
- Informs both visitors & hosts – As residents become more informed & develop pride & skill in showing off their locale, tourists get more out of their visit (both take responsibility for destination stewardship)
- Benefits residents economically ‐ Travel businesses hire local workers & use local services, products & supplies
- Supports integrity of place ‐ Destination‐savvy travelers seek out businesses that emphasize the character of the locale; In return, local stakeholders who receive economic benefits appreciate & protect the value of those assets
- Means great trips ‐ Enthusiastic visitors bring home new knowledge; They encourage friends & relatives to experience the same thing, which brings continuing business for the destination
When Trout Point was honoured as worldwide top 10 finalist in the Geotourism Challenge, Power of Place: Sustaining the Future of Destinations, it reinforced the Lodge’s commitment to geotourism and sustainable tourism practices. Efforts were redoubled to hire locally, which in turns gives guests an enhanced experience of place and benefits the local economy. As the Wikipedia entry on geotourism explains:
Like ecotourism, geotourism promotes a virtuous circle whereby tourism revenues provide a local incentive to protect what tourists are coming to see, but extends the principle beyond nature and ecology to incorporate all characteristics that contribute to sense of place, such as historic structures, living and traditional culture, landscapes, cuisine, arts and artisanry, as well as local flora and fauna. Geotourism incorporates sustainability principles, but in addition to the do-no-harm ethic, geotourism focuses on the place as a whole. The idea of enhancement allows for development based on character of place, rather than standardized international branding, and generic architecture, food, and so on.
Lodge proprietors and staff look forward to welcoming new and returning guests starting May 1! In so doing they will be continuing a century old lodge, camp, and guide traditionin Kemptville and Yarmouth County. As renowned local travel writer Bruce Bishop notes in his article “What might have been is not (yet) what is,”
In another life, I’ve reviewed hotels and resorts for guidebook companies in places as far away as Bintan, Indonesia and Cape Town, South Africa…and I still contend that what we have here is a natural goldmine waiting for proper and sustainable tourism use. The state of New Hampshire has taken a keen interest in its old grand hotels and inns, many of which have been refurbished by private enterprise. And similar to the volume of visitors to that state over 100 years ago, Canadians alonemade more than 359,400 visits to New Hampshire in 2006, spending $78 million.
Let those fellow Canadians come here instead – and Americans, too – and make Loran Ellis Baker proud of what he began in 1892: a strong, self-reliant tourism industry in western Nova Scotia.