Bucking the trend: Killarney Mountain Lodge seeing resurgence in tourism
SUDBURY -- The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on travel plans around the world and how people are spending their vacations.
One northern Ontario lodge that usually sees a high percentage of American tourists arrive each summer by land and boat is now filling up with Canadian tourists vacationing at home.
Terri and John Kennedy and their dog, Maddie, are from Grand Bend, Ont. They are spending the next week and a half at the Killarney Mountain Lodge.
"We have been coming here for over 40 years on our boat," said Teri. "We come here because this is our happy place, we just love it."
The lodge is on the shores of Georgian Bay and is normally a very popular destination for American and Canadian boaters.
"It's the wilderness, the scenery, boating people are so friendly," said Terri.
There are no American boats this season, but the general manager says business is still good on the docks and in the lodge.
"We were wondering what to expect this season with everything that's going on with the government measures to control the spread of COVID," said Kelly McAree, the general manager of the Killarney Mountain Lodge.
"We expected to have to make major adjustments, and we did we cut back staff and whatnot, but now we are seeing a resurgence in tourism."
The resurgence, McAree said, is being driven by Canadians vacationing at home.
"A lot of Canadians traveling closer to home, and it's really showing a difference, we are doing numbers we never thought we would do," said McAree.
Terri Kennedy said she came on vacation prepared.
"Brought our masks and everything and everybody up here is keeping social distancing," she said. "So when we need to put on a mask, I have them in my purse, so we are here now and it's just wonderful to get out of house that we have been in since March 23, because we were isolated when we came back from Florida."
McAree said he's expecting a record number of guests in August, and is happy to welcome Canadians exploring the beauty and fresh air of the scenic area.