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Nova Scotia tourism gets ready for a bounce-back summer season

By Joe Thomson Apr 27, 2023 | 8:55 AM

Image by lumix2004 from Pixabay

Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes tourism season. For the first time in four years, many tourism operations are back to 100 percent capacity, and that has industry professionals excited.

Darlene Grant Fiander is the president of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. She’s feels that businesses will be able to recoup some of their loses from the past few years that were interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There’s lots of opportunities still for people to come and visit so there’s a high level of optimism that there will be a lot of business this year,” said Grant Fiander.

Despite her optimism, Grant Fiander knows that the years since 2019 have not been kind to the tourism industry and it will take more than one summer season to get back to normal.

“I think we had a good opportunity last year to kind of see the pent-up demand. The challenge, of course, is that we were shut down for two years and we’re still dealing with the impact of shutting down a global industry,” said Grant Fiander.

On top of the pandemic, business owners and operators have had to grapple with the rise of inflation and the daily impacts that can have on a business. Grant Fiander mentioned that if families are struggling to put food on the table just imagine how difficult it can be for a small, family-owned restaurant trying to feed hundreds.

There are even some businesses in the Eastern region of the province that are still recovering from Hurricane Fiona. Grant Fiander pointed out that some businesses were so damaged by the storm that they no longer exist. For example, she mentioned that the property that used to be home to the Pictou Lodge is now on the market.

Although the tourism industry has taken some serious hits, this summer presents an opportunity for the business who made it through to put the past behind them. Grant Fiander says that TIANS has been doing their best to work with businesses and help them through these difficult times. From developing programs to help businesses rebuild, to offering tools and support.

“We had to help operators think about the jobs they have and how do you do things differently? So, there’ll be a lot of efficiencies that have come about and new innovation. We’re not out of it yet, though. This will be our first full year of operations, and there’s a lot of optimism and a lot of interest in the destination,” said Grant Fiander.


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