In my earlier MLA Report (link here), I wrote about the opening of provincial parks across the province. Of course, the one of great interest “along the shore” is the Five Islands Provincial Park. I wrote about the hundreds of tourists who visit Nova Scotia each summer, and many of those tourists enjoy camping in our parks. With the tourist season officially over, our province can boast having the best tourist season on record with over 1.9 million folks choosing Nova Scotia as their destination. That increase in tourists resulted in a significant increase in the number of campers to Five Islands Park, 4 371 visitors enjoyed the overnight camping experience in our Park in 2017. That is an increase of over 1000 visitors since last year. In fact, the number of visitors has increased consistently since 2014, when the number of camper sites was 2003.
That steady and significant increase in camper sites is due to a number of factors. During that 4 year period, our Liberal Government has made significant investments in the Park. This began with the upgrade to the park road to a smooth and greatly improved surface. The road is jointly owned by Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation. I continue to thank the Ministers responsible, Minister Zach Churchill and Minister Geoff McLellan who listened to my concern and who responded accordingly. In addition, the Park expansion has provided additional camp sites, and just recently, the tender was awarded for the install of additional hook-up services to 15 sites. Over $100 000 has been committed to that improvement.
It is our goal to continue improving the park experience for Nova Scotia families. It brings tourists to our shore, and it allows them to enjoy the natural beauty and rural hospitality we have to offer. Let me thank the maintenance and administrative staff at the Park for providing a safe camping experience again this season.
Karen Casey, MLA