So you want to get out of Canada for the long weekend, eh?
With international travel almost back to normal, maybe you’re considering that long-put-off trip to neighbouring Maine — a usually economical get-away option that isn’t too far away.
Be prepared, however, for low availability and very high prices this weekend — some hotels and motels are double what they were pre-pandemic.
Several online booking sites listed nearly all of the hotels in the popular Bar Harbor area going for between $300 and $500 per night — and that’s in U.S. dollars.
One popular online booking site calculated the average accommodations for the state of Maine at almost $600 Canadian per night.
The executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce said demand is definitely driving prices.
“Bar Harbor has definitely seen an increase in demand since the outset of the pandemic,” said Alf Anderson.
After two years of pandemic restrictions, he said people are eager to be outdoors. He said they’re especially keen to visit destinations with national parks nearby.
“And we have all that to offer. So we’ve definitely seen an increase in visitation since 2019,” said Anderson.
But he wasn’t sure how much the price of accommodations have increased since the pandemic.
The chief executive officer of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick said prices have also risen in New Brunswick, but he’s not sure how they stack up against Maine’s.
“The demand is certainly up,” said Andrew McNair.
“People are looking to travel and looking to get out and do things, so it’s combined with, as I say, the rising cost of just about everything, really.”
Tourism rates soar
Up-to-date figures were not available, but the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture’s website lists occupancy rates for the province’s hospitality industry until the end of May. In May, occupancy was listed at 54 per cent, which was more than double what it was in May 2021.
According to Statistics Canada, the number of tourists entering New Brunswick in May was 18 times higher than it was in May 2021. The report said 10,782 tourists entered the province in May — the most recent month available — while only 599 entered in May 2021.
Similar statistics for tourists entering Maine were not available.
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