New Brunswick has printed last edition of popular Explore NB tourist guide
You can call it a sign of the digital times, but visitors to New Brunswick are now receiving the last printed copies of the provincial travel guide.
The focus is shifting to online marketing, and away from the booklet that’s been used for generations.
Nevada resident Mike Gagnon says he never goes anywhere without picking up the local tourism literature -- in this case, the New Brunswick travel guide.
“It gives you the catch phrases to catch your eye,” Gagnon said. “It’s definitely old-school but, you need something. There's stuff you can get online, but this gives you the little tidbits and catches your eye. I really enjoy these magazines.”
Another Nevada resident, Arlene Sirois, says her copy is full of dog-ears.
“We looked at them yesterday and decided what path we wanted to take today,” Sirois said.
Tour guide Nicolle Gray says demand for “the guide” far outstrips other tourist literature.
“People come here and they want something to hold in their hand,” Gray said. “We have lots of others, but we don't keep these very long. People come right in and they grab these right off the shelf.”
California resident Barry Brian, however, is planning his Maritime tour with little more than digital information.
“We'll custom fashion our own itinerary based on that,” Brian said. “So, the internet is a wonderful source for that.”
Howard Heans, who owns a campground in Hardings Point, N.B., says there are many things that should have been considered before this decision was made.
“Maybe you haven't got access to the internet,” Heans said. “There's holes in the internet everywhere. You can always depend on the book.”
It’s a book that dozens of New Brunswick tourism businesses advertised in every year – including Heans.
“That little ad I have is maybe $3,500 per year, but it worked for us,” he said. “Things that work for you, you hate to lose.”
The printed guide is being lost in the shift toward on-line marketing. The government also expects to save more than $600,000 in printing costs.
Massachusetts resident Dick Bauer says he would like to have the choice.
“Tour books, I like to look at them, but I look at the internet as well,” he said. “But I would not be happy if I had to rely solely on the internet.”
Some tourists also take them home and consider the book a souvenir, or perhaps pass it on to a friend or relative.
Now, this year’s edition might also be considered a collector’s edition.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.