Ottawa, Canada, campground owners complain that they’ve lost tourist business due to higher gas prices, transportation issues and a lack of tourism advertising, according to the Ottawa Business Journal.
Business is down 25% this year at Camp Hither Hills, said Terry Morehouse, whose mother, Ruth Millar, owns the 100-site campground that is open from May 1 to mid-October that attracts “transient” short-term campers who use the campground as a base while they sightsee.
“We’ve noticed a big difference and we have had very few Americans,” she told the newspaper. “A lot of the decrease is because of higher gas prices, but we’ve also been impacted by the lack of bus service.”
Morehouse said the city used to run a bus within a couple of hundred yards of the campground, but it was canceled last year when cuts were made. “A lot of people used to just walk down to the bus stop from our campground and take it downtown to see the sites,” she said.
On a similar note, Recreationland, a private campground in the Ottawa suburb of Cumberland, saw occupancy drop 10% compared to last summer. “I’m not sure exactly why, whether its high gas or other factors, but one thing I now for sure is that Ottawa Tourism doesn’t promote to campers,” said Bruce Little, owner of the 75-site park.
“We have campers with million-dollar vehicles, and they spend money when they’re here. Ottawa Tourism focuses on New York State, but most of our people are coming from Florida, Texas, California, British Columbia and Alberta – far away places that are not being targeted.”
On the other hand, the non-profit Ottawa Municipal Campground had a successful summer season, according to David Huxley, park manager.
He said revenues from this year for June, July and August showed a significant increase over the same months last year.