Saint Andrews – Ooops, they did it again. No stranger to the adoration of the world as of late, Saint Andrews has recently garnered another accolade, this time by the travel website, Expedia, naming the beautiful seaside Charlotte County destination as the number one small town in the province.
The nod comes on the heels of Saint Andrews recently being deemed the number one destination in Canada, through a readers choice contest with American publication, USA Today.
“It’s more, great, and deserving, accolades for Canada’s premier historic seaside resort town,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister, John Ames. “It instills real pride in the area.
“Whenever you’re listed by travel sites like Expedia. It’s definitely humbling, and we are honoured to be recognized,” said Brad Henderson, Sales and Marketing Director at Kingsbrae Garden, and Deputy Mayor of Saint Andrews.
“As it’s Canada’s 150, more people are looking at us, so it’s a perfect time for the accolades.”
“The fact that it all keeps coming, it’s amazing,” said Saint Andrews Mayor, Doug Naish. “It’s terrific. More good news, on the heels of good news.”
Naish and Henderson are both positive the news will translate into more tourists hitting the seaside hot spot.
On the heels of the announcement in USA Today, Henderson noted the phones at Kingsbrae Garden were impacted, fielding more calls than normal.
“We’ve (Saint Andrews) been seeing more coverage the last couple of years, and have seen a definite increase at Kingsbrae over the same time, and it can’t be a coincidence,” he added.
Both men hope the attention impacts tourism for the long term, and the increase happens over a period of time. “It’s not that I don’t want to see everyone,” laughed Naish, “but I hope they don’t all show up at once!”
Naish said in his five years of work in municipal government, he’s seen tourists who visit Saint Andrews regularly become permanent residents. “And that’s the ideal – they visit, and then reside here, and become part of the permanent population.”
“The province has been pushing tourism, getting the word out on various websites,” said Henderson, “and I think that’s part of what’s helping. We’re getting international attention.”
With approximately 42,000 New Brunswickers relying on the tourism industry for employment, Ames welcomes the additional award.
“Tourism is one of the largest contributors to our GDP,” said Ames, “and for every dollar we invest in tourism, we are yielding a $3.19 return.
“This recognition reinforces the message we are putting out there, and provides credibility to what we’re selling. We can lean on these when we’re showcasing our products as a province, and Saint Andrews is one of those products.”
And what is it about Saint Andrews, that’s making people take note?
“It’s hard to explain,” said Naish. “It’s a combination of things. This place is naturally beautiful, with a good history of tourism.
“We have historic sites and heritage buildings, and lots of amenities. We also have a reputation for friendly people – tourists are welcome here, and that comes across.
“There’s just a whole combination in play. The dollar is keeping people in Canada, and I’ve seen far more American vehicles than normal here recently.
“And the ‘Staycation’ idea is catching on. I’m seeing people from places like Fredericton.”
“I would say we offer the perfect combination of the friendliness of the people, world class attractions, and beautiful scenery,” added Henderson. “As well, we have a group of businesses working together to tell our story as a community.
“The story, locally, doesn’t get old, and we all look forward to delivering on their vacation experience.”