Businesses in Shediac, N.B., that depend on tourism continue to face financial struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Even with the Atlantic bubble now open, overnight stays in the first three weeks of July in New Brunswick are showing a decline and weekly overnight accommodations are down by almost 65 per cent over 2019, according to the New Brunswick Department of Tourism.
Christine MacDonald has been managing the Harbour Crew and Co. gift shop in Shediac for the past 10 years. She says her shop is typically packed to the rafters with vacationers from across Quebec at the end of July.
“It would be wall-to-wall and it would be because of the Quebec holiday,” she said.
She is referring to Quebec’s two-week mandatory vacation for construction workers between July 19 and Aug. 1. She said with the border still closed to Quebec vacationers amid COVID-19, traffic in the parking lot of the tourism destination has been sparse.
MacDonald says her sales are down more than 65 percent.
“It is a lot slower,” she said.
She said she is getting some traffic from local “staycationers” but said the locals not overly interested in buying travel mementos.
Nor are they eating out much, says the owner of the Lobster Deck Restaurant in Shediac.
“Ever since the Atlantic bubble opened I have not seen a difference,” Ben Landry said.
Instead, Landry said business has been steadily declining into July.
Traffic at hotels and motels is also on the decline, according to the province.
According to figures provided to Global News by New Brunswick Department of Tourism communication officer Robert Duguay, the number of people staying in overnight accommodations across the province actually decreased in the first three weeks of July and overnight stays are about one-third what they were at the same time in 2019.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.View link »