Nova Scotia

Trump Bump continues to resonate in Cape Breton, says tourism agency

Destination Cape Breton says 2016 has been a strong year for tourism on the island.

Number of visitors in first 7 months up 14 percent over same period last year

The Cape Breton if Trump Wins website continues to spark interest in the island says Mary Tulle, CEO of Destination Cape Breton. (Getty Images and Destination Cape Breton)

Destination Cape Breton says 2016 has been a strong year for tourism on the island.

The number of visitors to Cape Breton for the first seven months of 2016 is up 14 percent from the same period last year.  

Overall, the increase in Nova Scotia was just three per cent for the same period.  

Mary Tulle, the CEO of Destination Cape Breton, says there's been a big payoff from a satirical website which went viral this spring. 

The site Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins, which invited Americans to do just that, went viral this spring.

The website linked online visitors with other information about Cape Breton, including sites promoting the island as a tourism destination.

"Without question, we were given, I'd like to say, $10 million-plus of free promotion as a result of the If Trump Wins website," Tulle said. 

"The images of Cape Breton and the videos of Cape Breton have been shown extensively, and with that we really did propel a strong interest."

"It's been a banner year, just unreal," said Lyne Larade, the manager of Maison Fiset House in Cheticamp.

Larade said the tourism season started early, and she's already taking bookings well into 2017.

One evening this week, she turned away 17 visitors because the inn was already full.

Larade said she had to direct them to Baddeck, an hour's drive away, because other accommodations in the area were also booked solid.

"It just seems like Cape Breton is being talked about," she said.

Larade said in addition to the Trump website, Americans are visiting the area because of the Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links website, which tout those two world-class golf courses.  She adds the low Canadian dollar is another attraction.