Questions about the future of NB Visitor Information Centers

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The question mark-shaped signs leading to New Brunswick’s latest provincial visitor information centers have never been more appropriate, as there is no clear answer as to when these locations will reopen this season. .

The three provincially operated tourist offices in St. Stephen, Saint-Jacques and Campbellton have already been closed throughout the pandemic. Initially, the provincial government said the closures were temporary and due to pandemic travel restrictions.

Visitor information centers usually open in mid-May, and tourist numbers are expected to increase as several travel restrictions are lifted.

However, the provincial government has given no confirmation on the future of its tourist offices operating in the coming weeks.

“The Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture will meet over the next few days with representatives from the three communities where the provincial visitor information centers are located,” Jason Humphrey of the province’s Executive Council Office said in a statement. a written statement on Tuesday.

“At those meetings, we’ll outline what the plan for 2022 is. We’ll have more to share once we’ve had those conversations.”

St. Stephen Mayor Allan MacEachern said the province’s statement left more than a little doubt.

“That tells you they’ve already made up their minds most likely,” MacEachern said.

Until a few years ago, there were seven provincially operated Visitor Information Centers at seven major New Brunswick ports of entry.

Green Party MPP Kevin Arseneau said decisions about provincial visitor information centers in recent years have been disappointing and “a missed opportunity” for a province battling a reputation for “service driving”.

“We’re a very welcoming province and that’s certainly not what we exude,” Arseneau said.

Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Tammy Scott Wallace was not made available for an interview.

The Visitor Information Center operated by the Municipality of St. Andrews continued to operate throughout the pandemic.

“We saw larger numbers than before the pandemic, so our Visitor Information Center was extremely vital to the success of this,” said St. Andrews Mayor Brad Henderson.

“People are always looking for that personal connection. But they also use it as an opportunity when accommodation reservations are full and they try to find another place to stay. This is another resource for people, to give them insider information about other options they may not find online.

St. Stephen and St. Andrews plan to continue offering local tourist information in their respective municipalities this summer.

The province has not given a specific timeline as to when it will release details on the future of its remaining provincial visitor information centres.

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