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Northern Ontario tourism up, despite cooler summer weather

Communities across the region are reporting visitor numbers that are either higher or on par with last year.
Northern Ontario's biggest draw is the natural environment, a tourism official says. (National Park Service/The Associated Press)

The cooler weather isn’t putting a damper on summer tourism in northern Ontario.

Communities across the region are reporting visitor numbers that are either higher or on par with last year.

The executive director of Tourism Northern Ontario said part of the reason is because more Americans are crossing the border.

So far this summer, communities across the northeast are seeing strong tourism numbers. 4:41

“Travel has been down so much from the U.S. because of the economic situation there,” David MacLachlan said.

“As their recovery progresses, we're seeing a bigger return of the U.S. traveller to northern Ontario. Traditionally, you know, moving from the east to the west, the U.S. traveller becomes more important.”

MacLachlan said tourists are being drawn to northern Ontario by the great outdoors. One of the most popular activities for visitors is fishing, he noted.

"They'll be travelling right up to Red Lake, Pickle Lake, Nakina, White River Wawa, north of Timmins, Cochrane. They pretty much get right across the North."

The manager of tourism for the City of Timmins said he’s noticing a spike in interest in outdoor activities from people in southern Ontario.

“A lot of people are looking for experiences that are off the beaten track,” Guy Lamarche said.

Elliot Lake is reporting an influx in the number of visitors from Europe. Tourism for Greater Sudbury and North Bay reportedly remains on par with last year.

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