Wet weather dampens tourism numbers
Cooler, damp weather has slowed tourist traffic to northwestern Ontario, operators say
This summer’s cool and rainy weather has taken a toll on some tourism operators in northwestern Ontario.
The owner of Superior Outfitters in Rossport said it's one of the worst seasons he's seen in the 20 years he has run his kayaking business.
"The cooler, wetter weather has meant that people aren't likely to venture out on the lake," Dave Tamblyn said, and estimates his client numbers are down about 20 per cent.
"The student that I had working for us is working on a part-time basis now. We don't have anybody working full-time, whereas before we used to."
Tamblyn said he's heard similar woes from other seasonal businesses in the region.
"For Rossport, which is a tourism-based town, I think it has an impact for the bed-and-breakfasts in the area, the gift shops, the pottery shop, because there hasn't been the same amount of tourist traffic on the highway," he said.
The head of the Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters Association said the bad weather mostly affects operators easily accessible by road.
Laurie Marcil says people heading to remote areas book their trips far in advance, and are unlikely to cancel their plans.
Those outfitters have been busy preparing their clients for cold and wet conditions, "telling them what to bring as far as dressing in layers and bringing rain suits," she said.
Marcil said tourism operators count on repeat customers, so they have to make sure clients have a good trip — no matter what the weather.