August 21, 2015 9:17 am
Updated: August 21, 2015 2:33 pm

Operators say tourism numbers up this summer in N.B.

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WATCH ABOVE: Tourism operators in south-eastern New Brunswick say they’ve seen more visitors this year, even if the season started slow. Global’s Alex Abdelwahab reports.

MONCTON – As the summer tourism season nears its end, operators in south-eastern New Brunswick say tourism numbers are up this year.

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Hopewell Rocks has seen a 27 per cent increase in visitors so far this summer over last year, admissions and group tourist manager Annick Robichaud Butland told Global News, adding they have seen more visitors from the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario and the U.S.

“It’s easier to stay in Canada than cross over to the U.S., with the high U.S. dollar I suppose,” Robichaud Butland said. “So Canadians are staying here. Maritimers are staying close to home and the U.S. visitors are coming over.”

Robichaud Butland said they’ve experienced an increase in visitors from Europe and Asia as well this summer, and expect to hit more than 200,000 visitors by the time the season closes.

“On our peak day we’re looking at about 4,000 visitors coming through the gates,” she said.

Tziporah Cohen was visiting Hopewell Rocks with her family from Toronto on Thursday. She told Global News their decision to travel within Canada was based on low Canadian dollar.

“We [relocated] to Toronto from Boston eight years ago,” she said. “So we decided we wanted to see a little bit more of Canada than we already have. The Canadian dollar being weaker eliminated any U.S. tours.”

She said her and her family were doing an east coast road trip in an RV.

According to a new Statistics Canada report, travel from the U.S. to Canada in June was at a seven-year high, with nearly two million U.S. residents crossing the border by car.

At Magic Mountain Water Park in Moncton, director of Finance and Marketing Mark Jelley said the low Canadian dollar means they’ve seen more visitors from Quebec this summer.

He said he expects it will help them end the season strong, even though it started slower than normal with the cold spring and late summer.

“June was way down, we did less than 50 per cent of our normal business in June,” he said. “July, by the end of it, with some of the good weeks at the beginning, we were down a little bit, but certainly August is trending upwards. Versus last year, we’re ahead of last year.”

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