In the spirit of keeping my mind as active as possible as Phase IV of life envelops me, I believe I’ve come up with a tourist initiative that many of you may also be able to participate in.
Your involvement will be dependent upon a couple of prerequisites that include also being in Phase IV of life, and the ability to place a dollar figure on the amount of tourism money you can claim you are directly responsible for generating, by having hosted visitors from away over a particular period of time.
In this context, ‘visitors’ can include family members who found it necessary to move away for work, and in at least one return visit, returned home with a spouse, children, an in-law or a friend whose only reason for coming here was because they were talked into it by said family member.
If you’re not sure what phase of life you’re in, I can help by informing you that there are only four phases, and you’ll know Phase IV when you feel it. Also, the dollar amount you claim being responsible for should be significant. For example, I’m claiming responsibility for $1 million dollars, and not because the Austin Powers movie aired last night. If anything, I’ve likely seriously under-estimated my contribution to tourism, which also points out the need to start keeping better records.
Those who visit you and then move on to the other areas of the province to spend money are, on occasion, being seriously overcharged for some services, which negatively impacts on your ability to get them to commit to a return visit. I gather this is the case, on the basis of the satisfaction forms they fill out that I provide as they depart from my place on day four.
Only after their entire provincial experience is documented do I find out that some cafe on the Northern Peninsula charged them $20.00 dollars each for a meal consisting of three fish cakes, two toutons, and a bowl of baked beans that can be downed in three spoonfuls.
That same $40.00 dollars for two people can buy you and six of your friends an all-you-can-eat meal at a Golden Corral down south. Besides the obvious fact that we don’t have the numbers to support a Golden Corral anywhere on the Northern Peninsula, is there something we could do to address that?
Here’s my plan: As a qualifying member of the host crowd, you will be granted the ability to issue discount cards to the people you bring here, that they can use as they visit, and consequently, spend way too much money in other areas of the province you’ve suggested they visit, after the three days they’ve been with you has reached its breaking limit. Some of you can last longer than three days and are probably thinking, if my limit with everyone who visits me is only three days, the problem doesn’t stem from them. But now you know why they leave my house on day four.
You might see where my discount card service has some potential.
In addition to providing some relief from the provincial history of charging the last dollar for anything related to tourism because we never had very many tourists, those doing the most for tourism by attracting the poor buggers in the first place can get some recognition for their efforts. Just think how many of your friends would appreciate a bona fide, Alex Harrold Discount Card to use on their next visit to Aunt Martha’s Berry and Syrup Emporium in Alder Gardens, Newfoundland. That’s a real place, according to the forms I get.
The only obstacle that might come up is getting Aunt Martha and others to agree that this is a good idea to attract additional, or even, repeat customers, and to settle on an appropriate discount. I’m as reasonable as I am creative, so I agree with you that a 50% reduction is too much too soon.
I’m counting on you to get the word spread on this idea, seeing as just about everyone in Newfoundland knows somebody who knows or is related to Aunt Martha or anyone else with something to sell to a tourist. Remember, our goal isn’t to get the tourists to stay. Eventually, nobody would know anybody, just like everywhere else. We just want them to think they had a good time here without it costing them two arms and a leg. In fact, so good, that they bring somebody else. And then THEY bring someone else. That’s how tourism is supposed to work.
You guys oughta tell Aunt Martha. She won’t listen to me.