Despite economic woes, Hospitality N.L. chair bullish on summer tourist season

After a tough few months for the Newfoundland and Labrador economy, there might be at least one bright spot on the horizon.

Dion Finlay says he still believes that tourists will come

Dion Finlay says that despite the high cost of fuel, the summer tourism season is still looking like it will be a success in N.L. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

After a tough few months for the Newfoundland and Labrador economy, there might be at least one bright spot on the horizon.

Despite fee increases and a new gas tax, Hospitality N.L. Chair Dion Finlay says the tourism sector is expecting a big summer.

He said he's hearing from many business operators in his industry that they're booked through the season.

"Some people are booked or almost at capacity for June, July, and August, which is typically our high tourist season," he said.

Finlay said he believes the province is a bucket list destination, and that tourists will come despite high fuel prices, and sometimes frigid temperatures.

"Last year we had the cold weather, they still came," he said.

"This year is the price of oil or increased fees. We really think they'll still come."

Finlay said many visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador in the summer come from the United States, and he believes the relative low value of the Canadian dollar will offset the high price of fuel.

"We have a great product and a lot of great experiences to deliver," he said.

"They are still coming."