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Tourism booms in Simcoe County with the changing seasons

Tourism operators in Simcoe County say the leaves aren't the only thing changing this fall, as an increase in tourists improves their fortune.

In what's been a difficult two years for the tourism industry, an interest in visiting the region this year has helped in its recovery.

"We're definitely seeing lots of travel this season to see the colours, something about the fall and this area, it kind of creates a sense of warmth," said Tara Lovell, public relations manager at Blue Mountain Resort. "The colours themselves are really unique to our area, and we kind of forget that sometimes. People will travel from all over the world to come and see the colours change."

Lovell noted that Americans, Europeans and visitors from Asia are particularly keen on seeing the fall leaves from atop the mountains. The resort uses its chairlift to bring guests to the top, where they can take in the colours on their hike.

Blue Mountain Resort also incorporates a nighttime walk with a lighted path down the mountain.

"You can see all of the colours start to change over Georgian Bay and the region here," Lovell added. "It's not peak season winter, of course, but we definitely see a lot of people coming through, whether it's for a hike or coming through the village."

Christie's Mill Inn and Spa is a popular spot in Port Severn. The new owner is preparing for her first fall season and said Americans have been coming to the area in particular.

"We actually just had someone leave us today from Buffalo," said Sharon Hales. "Even on their way here, they said they'd never seen colours quite like the ones we get up here, and we're not even in peak season."

Hales said she's booked with guests until November and expects that fortune to continue into the winter.

"We're certainly getting bookings, but I think we might see more traffic than what's anticipated," Hales added.

Tourism Simcoe County said fall is an important season for operators, with agriculture an important part of the region's history.

"Agricultural tourism and fall trees are mainly what brings people to the region," said Brianne Harris, Experience Development coordinator. "Our regular in-province and out-of-province visitation have bounced back to pretty much pre-pandemic levels, which is wonderful to see."

Harris added that there are numerous self-guided tours people can look for on Tourism Simcoe County's website. Top Stories

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