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A cutting-edge tourism model in Newfoundland


The couple left for school and jobs, but missed their hometown. By 2016, they saw Bonavista’s population had stopped shrinking and, thanks to tourism, new businesses were opening. They decided they wanted to raise their kids where they grew up.

In 2017, the pair started Bonavista Adventure Tours – a tour company that offers hands-on activities like foraging for berries and a traditional Newfoundland beach “boil up” picnic and bonfire. Jordan said everything they do has to offer a sense of place. “We wanted to give tours that could only happen in Newfoundland.”

Two years later they opened the cafe. With the goal of creating a restaurant that feels like a welcoming home, they found regional potters to make their dishes, source food and drink locally and employ neighbourhood musicians to give the restaurant a kitchen party atmosphere.

“Sometimes I pinch myself. I never dreamed we’d come home,” said Bonnie. “I used to hear stories about these towns when they were alive. So, it’s surreal seeing people coming back, fixing the old houses and deciding to stay. They’re filled with hope.”

Country Rambles is a BBC Travel series that embraces rural life, helping travellers to reconnect with nature, learn a handcrafted skill and live more sustainably – all while experiencing local culture.

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