Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tourists Need Information??? Really??

SO we are travelling and two of the days we planned to stop for lunch at provincial borders (not because they were borders but because that would be about the right time to stop. Yes it is after Labour Day but who thinks about that -- we are travelling on a route of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Day 1: Arrive in Lloydminster on the ALberta/Saskatchewan border. Lots of picnic tables available but the building is closed (therefore no washrooms). BOx of brochures in front of the door for visitors to the wealthiest province in the country which can't afford to staff the information bureau between September and May. Said bureau is at the border on the highway to the provincial capital . So we have lunch and use the "hide in the bushes" approach to urination. OTOH, at least this is right beside a municipal area so people have other places to go for facilities and actual personal information.

Day 3: Come to the Manitoba/Ontario border. THere is ONE major Canadian highway linking the two provinces. Tourist Information Center is closed. Not only that but there are locked gates to the parking lot so people can't even use the picnic areas. Next closest possibility is 50 kms down the road. We pull off the road and use the grassed area beside the "Welcome To Ontario" and "Forest Fire Hazard" signs for our lunch break (the girls were all overdue for lunch, we weren't about to wait longer). While we are eating, at least 10 vehicles with license plates from many different places pull into the turn lane to use the Info Center (within a 30-45 minute span).

Maybe people who make these decisions need to think about the message of welcome they are actually sending? At least keep the places open until Thanksgiving, 12 months a year would be better. (Currently these booths open the Victoria Day Weekend in May).

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