'It's going to be alright': Tourism operators along the Cabot Trail say they’re optimistic for summer
CHÉTICAMP, N.S. -- Phase 2 of Nova Scotia's COVID-19 reopening plan means most Parks Canada sites along the Cabot Trail were able to welcome back visitors on Wednesday – opening the door for an increase in tourism this summer.
The Cape Breton Highlands National Park is home to some of the most iconic tourist experiences, providing some of the prettiest views in the Maritimes.
(Photo courtesy: novascotia.com)
One food truck driver in Chéticamp, N.S. who went into business about one year before the COVID-19 pandemic began, says the opportunity for tourists will be a game-changer.
"That's what we kind of rely on," said Serge Paul Camus who owns a food truck. "Tourists coming around, stating in town and supporting local food."
The Chéticamp Campground sits just inside the entrance to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
According to Parks Canada, reservations for early summer are booking up quickly.
"Reservations after next week, up to Canada day and beyond into July are looking really great," said Kelly Deveaux with Parks Canada.
Yvette Lelievre is the tour guide at the Les Trois Pignons – a museum in Chéticamp showcasing Acadian culture and traditional rug hooking.
She says visitors within the park means more traffic for the museum.
"Obviously having people around where they can go to restaurants, they can go to B&B's and motels and have them around where they can enjoy the region and spend a little time, and a little money," said Lelievre.
According to Parks Canada, some things like tour group sizes and campground availability are still under reduced capacity in order to allow for physical distancing and COVID-19 public health guidelines.
"We ask that our visitors do plan ahead," said Deveaux. "Take the time to prepare for your visit. Make yourself aware of any travel restrictions."
Those along the Cabot Trail say they hope the increase in tourism will help make up for lost time and money.
"I'm going to be back to normal now," said Camus. "It's going to be alright, I'm not going to have to worry about paying bills."