©Star file photo
While Peter Fenwick, owner-operator of Inn at the Cape, is protesting what he calls the early closure of the Visitor Information Centre at Port aux Basques, it doesn’t look like there is going to be any change.
That’s because Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation Minister Christopher Mitchelmore said the closing date really hasn’t changed much.
In an email to Mitchelmore, Fenwick said in the past tourism personnel urged operators to extend their season into the fall.
Fenwick said that in October many of his referrals come from people who contact the facility through the Visitor Information Centre, since they are not sure which accommodations are still open.
He said by closing the centre at the end of September instead of later in October the department is doing a great disservice to those in the industry attempting to extend the season. He asked the minister to reconsider.
Mitchelmore said in a reply to Fenwick that visitor information centres have not changed their scheduled closing dates and are aligned with previous years.
In the past five years the Port aux Basques centre had closings ranging from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3 and not later in October, as suggested, Mitchelmore said.
Mitchelmore said the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation works very hard to deliver valuable visitor information and related referral services. He said visitors coming to the province can always call their toll-free number or visit their website (www.newfoundlandlabrador.com) to receive support.
He said prior to the most recent five years, closure at the Port aux Basques Visitor Information Centre occurred later in October; however, due to cost savings measures implemented in Budget 2012, the closure date was moved to early October.
Fenwick, who is chair of the Southwest Coast Joint Council, has the issue of the closing of the centre on the agenda for a meeting of the group taking place in McKays on Saturday.
Port aux Basques Visitor Information Centre:
YEAR OPEN CLOSED
2013 May 17 Sept. 27
2014 May 14 Oct. 3
2015 May 15 Oct. 2
2016 May 18 Sept. 30
2017 May 17 Sept. 29
Source: Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation