Avalon Peninsula Rated No. 1 Coastal Destination by National Geographic

Spurwink Island Path

Gord Follett

Nov 15, 2010

Avalon Peninsula Rated No. 1 Coastal Destination by National Geographic

Monday, November 15, 2010

Press Release, St. John’s NL, November 15th, 2010

National Geographic ranks the Avalon Peninsula the No.1 coastal destination in the world

Imagine that…. three hundred and forty National Geographic tourism experts have ranked the Avalon Peninsula as the best coastal destination in the World!

The National Geographic experts found that that the Avalon Peninsula has struck the right balance between natural features and urban amenities. One expert extolled the region’s “stunning natural and cultural integrity,” adding that it is “one of the best-kept tourism secrets.” Another expert notes that
tourists come to the Avalon to enjoy coastal hiking trails, along with the wave-carved shores, remote fishing settlements, unspoiled scenery, and a seafaring heritage.

“The East Coast Trail Association (Association) is thrilled that others have come to appreciate what we have always known,” says president Randy Murphy, “The Avalon is an inspirational place and offers the opportunity for an unforgettable escape to anyone looking for an experience of a lifetime.”

The province should take great pride in this ranking. It is a shared accomplishment based on the support and contribution of many individuals, communities, businesses, and government. The ranking confirms that our governments’ investment in tourism, cultural and community infrastructure is money well spent. The Association is very pleased to be part of this collective and proud to share in this major accomplishment.

The National Geographic’s ranking also gives credit to the province’s determination to find new industries in the face of the cod moratorium: oil and gas, alternate fishing species, and tourism. The East Coast Trail is one of these initiatives. “What seemed to be an impossible dream in 1994, the creation of a world class hiking trail, has been realized,” said Murphy. “The Association, together with our partners, have delivered an invaluable piece of tourism & recreational infrastructure that is making a significant social, economic and environmental contribution to this region.”

The Association wishes to thank all our volunteers, members, landowners, residents, community groups, and governments at all levels, as well as individual and corporate donors, for helping develop, maintain and protect the East Coast Trail. The Trail has become a provincial treasure of which we can
all be proud. It is an important component, among many, in achieving the National Geographic ranking as the number one coastal destination in the world. Thank you all for helping to make the dream a reality.

The article also confirms that when you build tourism products, such as the East Coast Trail, that combine the very best we have to offer – our natural, cultural, historic, and community assets – together with the raw natural beauty of our coastline, you create a unique tourist destination that is second to none in the world, it is indeed “priceless.”

We must remember that the Avalon’s tourism assets will continue to keep on giving only as long as we provide the loving care, management, and protection they require. The demand for our coastline is real not imagined. Changes are occurring rapidly on the Avalon, and every year there are challenges to the open access of the trail and our coastline, access that we enjoy today and wish to protect for future generations.

“Our goal now is to maintain the National Geographic ranking and at the same time enjoy the benefits of development,” said Murphy. “The people of the Avalon Peninsula must rise to the challenge of continuing development while maintaining and protecting our existing tourism assets, such as the East Coast Trail, with a coastline that is free, open and available to all.”

Thank you National Geographic . . . the Avalon Rocks . . . No.1 coastal destination in the world

About The East Coast Trail Association:

The East Coast Trail Association is a volunteer-run & member based registered charity. The Association’s mission is to develop, maintain and preserve the East Coast Trail while respecting the integrity of our natural environment, the needs of our communities, and delivering a high quality wilderness hiking experience.

The East Coast Trail runs along the coast of the eastern Avalon from Topsail Beach to Trepassey, and in-land across the Avalon from Ferryland to Placentia.

For further information, please contact:

Randy Murphy,
President, East Coast Trail Association
Phone: 738-Hike (4453)
Email: office@eastcoasttrail.com
Website: www.eastcoasttrail.com

Photos credits: J. VanHouwelingen, J. Stein, A. Yethiraj, T. Smith

Paths: Cobbler Path (1-3), Spurwink Island Path, Cape Broyle Path, Spout Path, Brock’s Head Path, Black Head Path