Signs things are starting to return to normal for some tourism operators
SHEDIAC, N.B. -- Traffic slowing the pace of Shediac's main drag is a sure sign of summer for many in the area, but this year, it may also signify a taste of normalcy.
Shediac Mayor Roger Caissie says there's been a noticeable uptick in movement around town. He attributes it to the province announcing it will open its borders to all Canadians who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"We've always been a good tourist destination for anyone, but we have our regulars so to speak, from the province of Quebec, Ontario, the Americans; they might be coming along a little bit later, we don't know," says Caissie.
At South Cove Camping and Golf, manager Eddie Lynch knows just how important the summer months are to the local economy.
"Tourism is a big deal for Shediac, the summer population usually doubles, maybe even triples," says Lynch.
Lynch says the change in restrictions have increased bookings at both the campground and golf course.
"We have a lot of customers from Quebec and I think they were sitting on their hands waiting for the good news. As soon as it came through, they were on the phone with us, talking to us, and making bookings," says Lynch.
Shediac Bay Cruise co-owner Denise Leblanc says about 50 per cent of her business comes from Quebec. Leblanc says bookings are better this summer than they were this time last year, but are still slower than she'd like.
"Typically what happens with tourists, they tend to book accommodations first; being motel, hotel, or campground, and then when they're close to getting here or when they are here, then they'll look at what activities there are to do in the area," says a hopeful Leblanc.
The province opened its borders on June 16th, as the second phase on the Path to Green.