Tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador calls for analysis into impacts of fracking

Hospitality NL calls for comprehensive analysis into impacts of fracking

For immediate release

May 17, 2013 – Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador strongly urges for a hold on slick-water hydraulic fracturing in the province, especially within the greater boundaries of Gros Morne National Park, until a comprehensive analysis of the long-term impacts of the proposed hydraulic fracturing projects is completed.

“As the tourism industry association of Newfoundland and Labrador, Hospitality NL cannot support an initiative that has the potential to negatively impact a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the absence of comprehensive analysis. Gros Morne is a natural attraction that has been the target of significant and strategic tourism investment for close to 40 years and is one of the biggest tourism demand generators in our province,” says Hospitality NL Chair, Darlene Thomas. “Those in support of the project say that the impacts on tourism will be minimal but this simply cannot be known at this stage of the proposed development, in the absence of comprehensive study of our unique circumstances. If this fracking project is indeed such a positive step forward for the region, allowing the time for a comprehensive analysis will provide evidence of this and give everyone involved an opportunity to fully understand what will happen if this project goes ahead.”

“Hospitality NL is not opposed to oil and gas development and understands its value to both the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador and the tourism industry,” adds Thomas. “However, a balanced approach must be taken between such developments and the protection of natural tourism assets in our province that enhance the quality of life for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and serve as the foundation of other revenue-generating industries. We have serious concerns about any development project that has the potential to degrade the exceptional natural beauty, brand, reputation and UNESCO designation of the Gros Morne region and upset its delicate ecological system. There are potential negative impacts with air pollution, water pollution, heavy truck traffic, visual impacts, hazardous fracking chemicals, spills, visitor perceptions and brand erosion that must be considered.

“Our association along with our tourism partners throughout the province are adamant that due diligence is critical in understanding the crossroads this province has reached in either approving or rejecting projects that may damage our most treasured and revered natural areas. Policies and procedures, based on sound research and detailed analysis, must be established and enacted before balanced decisions can be made concerning fracking, land use development and resource management, especially in the vicinity of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are among the biggest demand generators for tourism in our province.”

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is the provincial tourism industry association dedicated to advancing growth in tourism through advocacy efforts, skills and knowledge development and networking opportunities.

-30- Media Contact:

Leslie Rossiter