Tourism industry disappointed

Justin Dickie
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Tourism numbers have generally picked up so far this year over last, but for the most part establishments are still disappointed.

Tourism industry disappointed

Tourism numbers have generally picked up so far this year over last, but for the most part establishments are still disappointed.

Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage communications advisor Adele Poirier said accommodation numbers in our region were up 11 per cent in May 2007 over May 2006 and up three per cent overall at this point this year compared to last year.

"The last few years have been slow and even this year we're below average, but it went up after a below average year (last year)," said Ken Adams, curator of Parrsboro's Fundy Geological Museum, which saw a 19 per cent increase in June traffic over last summer.

Adams said the rise this year isn't due to a boost in tourists stopping by, but more locals visiting.

Anne Newman, manager of the Anne Murray Centre in nearby Springhill, was surprised by the turnout in May.

"Our numbers for May were higher, believe it or not, than last year in May, but our numbers in June are down," Newman said, noting the centre had 799 visitors in June this year compared to 848 last year. "It's not a horrible difference from last year, but certainly the numbers are down."

She expects July's attendance to be down as well. It's been slow so far this month, but she said it's picked up in the last few days.

Both Newman and Adams felt the high value of the Canadian dollar and expensive fuel as the main things keeping tourists away.

Many tourists attractions in the region and the Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association have teamed together to try to come up with new long-term marketing and promotion strategies to get the industry back on track.

"We've got to market the whole region as a destination rather than promoting single attractions and expecting people to come," Adams said.

In the short term, these establishments realize tourists won't be storming through the doors. If they can maintain steady numbers through the rest of this summer, they'll be happy.

jdickie@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Nova Scotia Department of, Fundy Geological Museum, Anne Murray Centre Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association

Geographic location: Parrsboro, Springhill

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