Record sea­son

‘It has all the mak­ings of a fan­tas­tic year,’ busi­ness owner says

The Western Star - - Front Page - BY KYLE GREENHAM

June has been an all-time high for sev­eral tourism busi­nesses in St. An­thony, and it is ex­pected to keep sky­rock­et­ing for the rest of the sum­mer.

June has been an all-time high for sev­eral tourism busi­nesses in St. An­thony, and it is ex­pected to keep sky­rock­et­ing for the rest of the sum­mer.

Monty Shears, owner of the Fish­ing Point Em­po­rium, said this steady in­crease will be a much-needed aid at a time when the prov­ince is in such a fi­nan­cial strug­gle.

“It’s en­cour­ag­ing. It seems to be get­ting bet­ter ev­ery year,” Shears said. “Tourism is not enough to sus­tain a town like St. An­thony, but it’s a big help. St. An­thony, like most out­ports, needs ev­ery­thing it can get.”

Shears said there are likely sev­eral fac­tors at play in this tourism boom, the ma­jor com­po­nent be­ing the low Canadian dol­lar, which is bring­ing in more “come from aways” from both abroad and within the coun­try.

“With the Canadian dol­lar so low, more Cana­di­ans are stay­ing in Canada, and even go­ing to the States is just too ex­pen­sive now,” he said.

New­found­land and Labrador Tourism’s ef­forts in pro­mot­ing the prov­ince, as well as the Ice­berg Fes­ti­val, have also been a big help in mak­ing June a suc­cess­ful month for tourism.

“It has all the mak­ings of a fan­tas­tic year,” Shears said.

So far this year, Shears has seen tourists ar­riv­ing from across Canada and from the U.S., Aus­tralia, Switzer­land, Ger­many, France and Ire­land.

He said with ac­com­mo­da­tions al­ready so filled up for July and Au­gust, peo­ple are com­ing out ear­lier this year.

Des­mond McDon­ald of the Gren­fell Her­itage Ho­tel and Suites said he had an oc­cu­pancy rate of about 95 per cent for the month of June and is al­ready booked up full for July.

“It booked out early this year,” McDon­ald said. “We got book­ings solid pretty much un­til Oc­to­ber.”

While much of the prov­ince, par­tic­u­larly ar­eas like St. An­thony, has suf­fered through a rough and ex­tended win­ter this year, Shears said the weather is a rare com­plaint for tourists.

“They come here ex­pect­ing the worst, and some­times they get it,” he said with a laugh. “But as long as it’s dry, they don’t mind.”

This year’s win­ter also brought heavy pack ice into the har­bours of out­ports like St. An­thony. While it caused some can­celled trips for boat tours and ferry ser­vices on the is­land, Shears said, in many ways, the ice has been a treat for tourist sea­son.

“The pack ice was a unique sight for many peo­ple, some­thing to­tally dif­fer­ent,” he said.

While peo­ple in Shears’ line of work get to see and speak with a va­ri­ety of for­eign trav­ellers who ven­ture to the prov­ince on a daily ba­sis, he said it’s un­for­tu­nate many do not get to wit­ness to the full ex­tent the ma­jor role tourism plays in their com­mu­ni­ties.

“Peo­ple from all over the world come here, and a lot of lo­cals never get to see them,” he said.

KYLE GREENHAM/SALTWIRE NET­WORK

.POUZ 4IFBST SVOT UIF 'JTIJOH 1PJOU &NQPSJVN JO 4U "OUIPOZ XJUI IJT XJGF 1BOTZ )F TBJE UIJT +VOF XBT POF PG UIF CFTU NPOUIT ZFU GPS UPVSJTN BOE IF IPQFT UIF JOEVTUSZ DBO QSPWJEF TPNF NVDI OFFEFE IFMQ UP UIF QSPWJODF T TUSVHHMJOH FDPOPNZ

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.