Provincial visitor information centres to remain closed for summer

File photo The province’s visitor information centre on Route 170 will remain closed this summer.

ST. STEPHEN – The province’s visitor information centre on Route 170 will remain closed again this summer.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, centres in New Brunswick didn’t open in 2020 and 2021. But it’s more of a numbers game for the centre in St. Stephen this year.

Visitation at the St. Stephen, St. Jacques and Campbellton centres have been on a continual decline for some time before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been down 28 per cent between 2017 and 2019,” said Mark Taylor, communications officer for the province’s Tourism, Heritage and Culture department.

With mobile maps continuing to grow in popularity and access to traveling information becoming more readily available, the temporary closures have not had a significant impact on visitors, according to Taylor.

“During the pandemic, the Town of St. Stephen operated their own municipal visitor information centre (MVIC) on their waterfront,” said Taylor.

The department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture has worked with St. Stephen to improve its centre, which has included re-direction from the Route 170 visitor centre to the municipal waterfront location.

Focusing on the municipal centres allows towns like St. Stephen to direct visitors off the highways and into the communities where they will hopefully eat in local restaurants, shop in local stores, and visit local attractions, supporting the local economy.

As of now, Taylor says no decisions have been made regarding the provincial centres’ fate for the 2023 season, and beyond.