Elena Enns, a summer student, is wrapping up her last week as the go-to person at the Trail Visitor Information Centre, located inside the Riverfront Centre. Elena says her first summer in the job was a wonderful experience, with guests particularly drawn to all the museum and its historical galleries have to offer. Sheri Regnier photo

Trail museum a major tourist draw

Almost 2,000 guests have logged in at the Trail Visitors Information Centre

“This is the cutest little town we’ve visited on the way from Vancouver.”

“Even though Trail is a relatively small town, it has everything you need; it’s absolutely perfect.”

“I thought it would be a desert! But it’s beautiful.”

These are just a few examples of how almost 2,000 guests to the Visitors Information Centre, located in the Riverfront Centre, viewed the City of Trail when they passed through this summer.

“The Riverfront Centre itself has proven a major attraction,” says archival manager Sarah Benson-Lord. “And the museum generates some wonderful comments from former residents, in particular.”

Although the number of logged in tourists fell slightly from last year, it’s still been a very busy season for staff who oversee all three site operations, those being the visitors centre and public library as well as the Trail Museum and Archives.

“Given 2018 was our inaugural year, we thought we’d see lower numbers this year,” Benson-Lord said, clarifying the tourist count began in April.

“But our numbers have remained consistent and I expect to surpass last year as we head into the fall, given the great weather and lack of smoke,” she told the Trail Times.

“The RV Park is consistently busy, and in fact, most questions of staff about accommodations are in reference to local camping. For many people, Trail is a ‘stop along the way,’ or they have family with which to stay.”

Many Lower Mainland travelers were taking the opportunity this summer to head to the interior, given the lack of fires and smoke like what has been experienced over the past few years.

“In our interactions with visitors, the majority state they are back in town visiting family or the hospital,” said Benson-Lord. “Many are here to fish or attend an event, such as a class reunion or tournament. We are also noting the amount of periphery visitors spending nights in Rossland or Nelson, but stopping in at Trail to take in some of the attractions, like the river and the Skywalk.”

As far as inquiries in the visitors centre, Benson-Lord says the majority is locals seeking province-wide travel/tourism literature, followed by British Columbian travelers.

“Our ‘Tourism Trail, BC’ visitor guide was distributed to over 40 communities across British Columbia, so we like to think our revised and updated marketing material is making a difference, as well,” she added.

“And we have seen an increase in American visitors from beyond Washington, which is nice to see.”

See pg. 2 for more on local tourism…

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