Amer­i­can visi­tors on the rise

Sum­mer tourism on the South Shore in­creased this year: op­er­a­tors

The Queens County Advance - - FRONT PAGE - BY LAURA CHURCHILL DUKE

Ac­cord­ing to Tourism Nova Sco­tia, the sum­mer was another strong sea­son in Nova Sco­tia.

Statis­tics pub­lished on the Tourism Nova Sco­tia web­site show that overnight vis­its by non-res­i­dents went up by nine per cent, com­pared to statis­tics from last sum­mer. Specif­i­cally, the South Shore re­ported a four per cent in­crease in ac­com­mo­da­tion rooms sold.

Su­san Lane, gen­eral man­ager of Lanes Pri­va­teer Inn in Liver­pool, says that al­though the sea­son was slow to start, over­all it was a good sea­son. Au­gust and Septem­ber are on par with 2016, she says.

Donna Hatt, mar­ket­ing and prod­uct de­vel­op­ment man­ager at the White Point Beach Re­sort, says sum­mer is al­ways a pop­u­lar sea­son at the beach and this year was no ex­cep­tion.

“As a year-round beach re­sort, our 2017 con­tin­ues to build and out­per­form 2016, which re­al­ized growth over the pre­vi­ous year it­self,” says Hatt.

For Lane, there was a no­tice­able in­crease in the num­ber of Amer­i­can tourists com­ing by ferry.

White Point Beach Re­sort also saw an in­flux of Amer­i­can tourists, with visi­tors from more than 30 states, pri­mar­ily from Mas­sachusetts, New York, Cal­i­for­nia and New Hamp­shire of­ten en­joy­ing the RCI Va­ca­tion Club at the re­sort, says Hatt.

Cana­di­ans also con­tinue to be avid beach va­ca­tion­ers, as the re­sort had an in­crease this year in guests from On­tario, New Brunswick, Que­bec and Al­berta.

One ex­pla­na­tion for the in­crease in tourism was all the Canada 150th cel­e­bra­tions and free events. Hatt says th­ese events cer­tainly had a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on Cana­dian tourism.

Build­ing on re­sults

Both Lane and Hatt say there are things those in the tourism in­dus­try can do to help in­crease num­bers, not just in the sum­mer sea­son.

For ex­am­ple, Lane says that if busi­nesses lobby for the CAT ferry sched­ule to change, tourism would also be pos­i­tively im­pacted. Cur­rently, Lane says those trav­el­ing by CAT ferry ar­rive in Yar­mouth at ap­prox­i­mately 9:30 p.m. and de­part at 8:30 a.m., mean­ing Liver­pool and other ar­eas of the South Shore is not on the radar to stay overnight.

“Most ferry pas­sen­gers were just pass­ing through,” says Lane. “We would like to see the sched­ule changed so that those ar­riv­ing to Nova Sco­tia ar­rive dur­ing day­light hours as ar­riv­ing in a new coun­try in the mid­dle of the night is not very wel­com­ing for our visi­tors.”

Hatt says the real op­por­tu­nity as Nova Sco­tians reach to­wards the One Nova Sco­tia goal of dou­bling tourism will come from the non-peak sea­son. White Point Re­sort is see­ing that growth in the win­ter months be­cause, as Hatt says, they of­fer unique ex­pe­ri­ences that guests en­joy, such as hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions, a New Year’s po­lar dip, and March break get­aways.

“Cel­e­brat­ing the many dy­namic and unique ex­pe­ri­ences avail­able in Nova Sco­tia in win­ter will be a game changer for the tourism sec­tor, ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties and most im­por­tantly for guests who en­joy es­cap­ing to con­nect to them­selves, and those who are trav­el­ling to be in great set­tings,” says Hatt.

SUB­MIT­TED

Tourists look over the beach at White Point Beach Re­sort.

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