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Inflation impacts on Maritime tourism

As the summer winds down, so does the tourist season in the Maritimes.

And while some visitors are returning, there's been a change in travel patterns across the American border, according to the president of the Atlantic Travel Centre.

"The price of fuel and price of accommodations, and being out of the travel habit,” said John Slipp, President of the Atlantic Travel Centre Duty Free shop.

“It's been a while since they've been here doing those kinds of things,” Slipp said.

“For Canadians the attraction to travel stateside doesn't seem to be what it used to be, again value, selection, the Canadian dollar, price of fuel, price of accommodations,” he said.

According to The Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick numbers this year were comparable to 2019, depending on the sector.

"It flattened out throughout the summer with inflation and gas prices. There was a number of contributing factors,” said Andrew MacNair, CEO of TIANB.

“But we did see numbers continue to go in the right direction,” MacNair said.

But inflation, fuel prices and the weather had an impact.

"When it comes to the weather, what we've experienced is most people don't tend to change their plans for the weather; they just adjust what it is that they're doing,” said Stacey Russell, manager of Fredericton Tourism.

“So we've been fortunate on that end, but of course inflation and price gaps have really affected the tourism market as with everyone else,” Russell said.

Back at the border, two sister in-laws, both named Susan Campbell, are on the way to the United States for a visit.

"Seven of us came up from the Island and did some shopping because there's some stores we just don't have on P.E.I.,” said Susan Campbell.

"It's great that we're back to travelling and it's great to see family that we don't get to see all that often,” the other Susan Campbell said.

Canadian traffic was only up 15 per cent and is still down closer to 50 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers.

"To put it in perspective, we've seen a 20 per cent growth in American traffic this year over last —but we're still down about 40 per cent pre-pandemic American traffic,” Slipp said.

Slipp said one thing he's heard from American tourists coming through is that they want to see the Atlantic Canadian tourism season extend beyond September when many things close, as well as later hours for tourism destinations in the region. Top Stories

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