Increase in tourists at Hopewell Rocks linked to Canada’s 150
Published Wednesday, July 5, 2017 9:46PM ADT
Last Updated Thursday, July 6, 2017 9:01AM ADT
New Brunswick’s Hopewell Rocks are seeing a large increase in tourists this season and it seems the reason is Canada 150.
“We’ve travelled a lot of the world, my family and I, and now we've decided it's time to see Canada,” says Anand Soni, a tourist from Ontario.
The Red Couch Tour is part of the 150 celebrations and it stopped in New Brunswick. The purpose of the couch is to have people sit on it and explain what Canada means to them. The couch will travel 20,000 kilometres over the next two months from coast to coast.
The 20 free-standing rock formations at Hopewell Rocks have long been an interest for tourists, but lately guides have had trouble keeping their attention because of some special birds.
“Whenever I do a guided walking tour along the beaches I get upstaged by the peregrine falcons that have nested in the park,” says tour guide Paul Harris.
Last year was a record year for visitation at the rocks, with more than 230,000 people walking the beaches. Since the season started, the numbers are up by 13 per cent.
Guides think one of the reasons people come to the rocks is curiosity about the collapse of one of the iconic figures last year.
“That one back a year and a half ag, the elephant rock, that was big. That got international attention. People are always asking about that one,” says Kevin Snair, a guide at Hopewell Rocks.
Snair says the amount of visitors they've been getting over the last couple weeks is closer to what they typically see in late July and August.
He says that's a good sign this season will set a new standard at the Hopewell Rocks.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis