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'Nature is our air conditioner': Fundy coast boasts beautiful vistas, great food, cooler temperatures

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It’s the third day of heat warnings for central New Brunswick – a muggy, stifling heat that has many seeking ways to cool off.

One-hundred-and-sixty kilometres south of Fredericton, there is refuge. Temperatures are almost always cooler along the coast.

“We actually have people come in from the States who are saying, ‘God, we really appreciate the fog here, because the fog is cool,’” said Village of St. Martins – Fundy Mayor Jim Bedford. “And for us, like, the fog is kind of an annoyance. But other people, it’s beautiful.”

So, could that be a tourism marketing strategy for the Fundy region?

“Absolutely. People who live along the coast take it for granted. But when you're inland and the temperatures are up around 35 degrees and you're trying to get into some place that’s air conditioned…nature is our air conditioner and it's great,” he said.

Some of New Brunswick’s tourism hotspots are in the Fundy region and they all saw a dip in visitors in 2023.

The Fundy National Park saw a seven per cent drop and the Fundy Trail and Hopewell Rocks each saw an 11 per cent decrease in visitors.

But through the second stretch of intense heat inland, Annick Robichaud Butland is noticing people flocking to the Bay of Fundy.

The Bay of Fundy is pictured. (Source: CTV News Atlantic)

The owner of ABConnect Travel has worked for almost 20 years in the tourism industry, including as a tour operator at some of the most iconic sites along the coastal drive.

She says it’s not hard to promote the area.

“We have breathtaking views and the people are phenomenal,” she said. “With small fishing communities and other areas that are just small country, villages or communities, you're getting people that are more traditional and that have high values, slower life pace, and people enjoy that. They're on vacation. They don't want to be rushed. They don't want a concrete world.”

The Bay of Fundy is pictured. (Source: CTV News Atlantic)

Climate change may cause more tourists to seek cooler locations to explore, and the Bay of Fundy could benefit from that.

“It's not unusual to see a 12-to-14 degree drop. And sometimes it's still sunny, but it's just that cool air just really just refreshes you,” she said. “It's become our friend for sure. But people along the coast don't even own air conditioners because the natural air just takes care of that heat.”

Bedford hopes to see visitor numbers increase this summer, but he warns not to let the fog fool you; you still need to wear sunscreen along the coast.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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