Maritime businesses stay open longer as tourism season booms
Published Monday, October 9, 2017 7:47PM ADT
Traditionally Thanksgiving weekend is a time when many business owners close their doors for the season, but this year more are staying open a little bit longer in the Maritimes.
"It was very busy, there were a lot of tourists in town and it was constant so it was a really, really good season this year,” says whale watching tour operator, Nicole Leavitt-Kennedy.
The Maritimes has seen one of its strongest seasons for tourism yet and since enough visitors are sticking around further into autumn, some tourist attractions are taking advantage.
"It’s worthwhile to extend the season this year and especially the weather has been amazing, and the people are still coming out, so we're going to stay open a little longer,” says tour operator, Joanne Carney.
In New Brunswick’s Passamaquoddy Bay near Saint Andrews, Ministers Island is also staying open for a few more weeks. The Island hit a new record high with 3,000 more visitors this year compared to last.
"That’s up to 21,000 plus a few years ago,” says tour manager, Susan Goergtzen. “I remember hitting 10,000 and I thought that was exciting.”
Some visitors from Florida say they enjoy touring later into the fall to avoid crowds and escape the busy season.
"We’ll be driving on the roads and I’ll see one or two cars and I’ll tell my wife ‘this congestion is just killing us, all this traffic.’ So it's a pleasure and quite a difference from Florida," says Bob Hahn.
"It’s a nice way to get away, nice time of the year to do it before it gets too cold," says Paulette Hahn.
Most provincial parks closed up for the winter earlier in the week, but New River Beach and other parks extended theirs for the long weekend.
"The beach was busy, the campground was busy, all on account that we had a beautiful summer," says New River Park employee, Everett Casey.
Officials say the weather has helped a lot, but so did the value of the US dollar.
They also say there are already positive indications that next year’s numbers could be just as good.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.