New push to ‘staycation’ along Eastern Shore

·2 min read

ST. MARY’S – In a bid to relieve a province-wide case of seasonal restlessness, the provincial government is pushing “staycation” options for Nova Scotians facing a long, dark, pandemically-curtailed winter.

Coastal Nova Scotia’s Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores, for example, has launched its Bingo Square Stay & Play program, entreating area residents: “Every time you visit a location on your bingo card, check it off and take a picture. Tag us in a picture on Facebook (Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Shore or Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore) or on Instagram (visitnorthumberlandshorens or visiteasternshorens).”

The deadline is March 15, 2021, for a chance to win a two-night staycation on the Northumberland or Eastern Shore.

With the tag line, “Day trips to dream trips, we have a little something for everyone, all just down the road,” Guysborough County players are urged to earn points by taking part in public skates, sledding, and popping into local establishments (Sober Island Taproom, The Kilted Chef, Days Gone By Bakery, Dobbit Bakehouse, Rose & Rooster Café, Fisherman’s Cove Restaurant, and a variety of B&Bs and farmer’s markets along the Eastern Shore).

While not exactly novel, the staycation option has been gaining popularity among both consumers and Nova Scotia’s tourism and hospitality industry – which accounted for 40,000 permanent and seasonal workers and revenues of more than $2 billion in 2019 – since the COVID-19 outbreak in March.

“Residents of Nova Scotia, we encourage you to explore the beauty in our own backyard,” the Coastal Nova Scotia’s website says. “From day trips to local attractions, to overnight getaways, there are many options available. Establishments have committed to practicing responsible social distancing and protective measures to keep their employees and their customers safe while operating in a limited fashion. Support local and stay safe.”

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal