Provincial Parks Gain Popularity With New Brunswickers | COVID-19 in the Atlantic

Reservations for campgrounds in the parks have increased by 30% overall from last year according to the New Brunswick Minister of Tourism, Bruce fitch. This growing popularity is not true in all parks, however.

I know some of the northern parks like Sugarloaf or [le parc provincial de la] République, who depend more on the Quebec bubble or on Quebec visitors there, are in decline, said Mr. Fitch. But I just spoke with Mactaquac, Spoken and Murray Beach, and basically, you would be lucky to find a place for a tent continued the minister.

For example, the traffic at the park Sugarloaf grew from 1,827 tourists, including 606 New Brunswickers, in 2019, to 521 tourists, including 450 New Brunswickers, in 2020.

In contrast, the numbers for Mactaquac Park remain almost the same, but it received more visits than usual this summer from New Brunswickers: 11,575 tourists visited, including 11,443 New Brunswickers. , in 2020, compared to 11,715 tourists in 2019, including 9,825 New Brunswickers.

Bruce Fitch, Progressive Conservative Party Finance Critic

Bruce Fitch, Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, says camping in provincial parks is more popular this year with New Brunswickers.

Photo: ICI Radio-Canada / Étienne Dumont

The Minister of Tourism believes that once people try camping, it becomes part of their way of life. He hopes new campers will return to the parks for years to come.

The Minister Fitch also points out that while some campers were unable to find accommodation in provincial parks this year, many are still available in many private parks.

Mr. Fitch explains that camping can be an attractive alternative to sporting events and various canceled shows for New Brunswickers. They can feel comfortable outside, they can have that social distancing without feeling cramped, and it turns out to be a positive experience for them., he adds.

However, it remains difficult to predict whether provincial and private parks will be able to sustain themselves with this summer’s revenue, according to the minister.

Toilets and other facilities in parks have been adopted to follow sanitary guidelines based on COVID-19.

The province is offering a 20% discount through the Explore NB Travel Incentive Program, which encourages New Brunswick residents to travel and spend in their province throughout the summer and early in the summer. fall 2020.

The Minister says the Explore NB program has been well received by the population so far.

A spokesperson for Fundy National Park said he saw a 60% drop in bookings due to the pandemic and decided to close two of the five campsites.

The park operates at a 30% occupancy rate, but 80% of these reservations are New Brunswickers. The rest of the occupants come from the Atlantic bubble.

A man poses in front of a body of water with a fishing rod between his teeth and a fish he has caught in his hands.

Glen Ferguson has already visited Mount Carleton four times this year and is happy to see more people visiting the park.

Photo: Courtesy of Glen Ferguson

Glen Ferguson is a regular camper at Mont-Carleton Provincial Park. This is his fourth excursion this year.

I am very happy to go and feel very lucky that this space is available for us as we go through this pandemic – Glen Ferguson, camper at Mont-Carleton

Ferguson reports seeing an increase in the number of campers this year compared to previous years.

Seems to be extremely busy this year, I wouldn’t doubt this is the busiest season they’ve ever had, he says.

He explains that he usually avoids the park on weekends because it is the busiest time, but he rejoices in the popularity of the park.

With information from Logan Perley, CBC

Janelle B. Smith

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