Occasions, pent-up demand pushing lodge bookings previous pre-COVID ranges

In a single week’s time, one of many largest music festivals in New Brunswick will descend upon Saint John.

The Space 506 Pageant is making its long-awaited debut on the Space 506 Waterfront Container Village, which opened in June.

“I feel we’re all very, very excited, you understand, it has been a very long time coming. It has been three years since we had our correct Space 506 Pageant the best way that we initially designed it,” mentioned Ray Gracewood, the founding father of Space 506.

“I feel compounded with the waterfront container village opening final month and the way thrilling and the way properly acquired that is been, this simply seems like an incredible extension of what we have been doing since early June.”

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Usually, Gracewood mentioned, the final week forward of the competition is the busiest interval for ticket gross sales. Nonetheless, gross sales are already trending to ranges by no means seen earlier than for the multi-day occasion.

That is simply the newest of full of life occasions to hit the Saint John Area after internet hosting the 2022 Memorial Cup and welcoming the return of cruise ships.

Rising foot visitors is on the middle of booming lodge bookings reaching ranges not anticipated for a few years.

“We’re outpacing 2019 occupancy ranges and pre-pandemic, and we anticipated that may not occur till 2024,” mentioned Paulette Hicks, the CEO of Envision Saint John: The Regional Development Company.

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In keeping with Smith Journey Analysis, the occupancy price in Saint John in June was 71.3 per cent — a 160.2 per cent improve in comparison with the 12 months prior.

“From a visitation perspective, we have now seen a big elevate with main occasions, sports activities tourism and guests coming again to the area, and definitely noticed that once more in Could and in June,” Hicks added.

Success within the hospitality sector has not been remoted to Saint John, with communities throughout the Maritimes reporting that guests have returned in droves.

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In Halifax, the mix of lifted restrictions and peak tourism season has helped operators start to recoup the greater than $260 Million misplaced in income.

Ross Jefferson, the president and CEO of Uncover Halifax, mentioned bookings are actually exceeding pre-COVID ranges, with visitation numbers final month “15 per cent greater” than another 12 months – a document excessive for the area.

“Historically we would be round 85 to 90 per cent occupancy, we’re within the 90 per cent occupancy, and relying on the day of the week we’re exceeding that. There’s nonetheless availability for these which might be concerned with coming in, however it’s tight – particularly for a few of these weekends the place the large occasions are occurring,” Jefferson said.

Gracewood mentioned they’re thrilled to have the ability to play a task in navigating to a post-pandemic resurgence “with somewhat little bit of swagger,” saying the area is prepared for it.

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— With a file from Eilish Bonang

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