Saturday, December 01, 2007

Canadian Wal-Marts may become tourist destinations - Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada
ONCE FORBIDDEN territory as an overnight rest stop for visitors in Nova Scotia, the shopping mall parking lot may become a new overnight tourist destination in the province after the planned repeal of the province’s Tourist Accommodation Act next year.

That possibility should be enough to stir up campground operators in Nova Scotia, who have been pushing the provincial government to enforce existing rules that prohibit "indiscriminate camping."

The Tourist Accommodation Act currently prohibits people from using, maintaining, operating or managing a campground for the use of any overnight parking of recreational vehicles unless they have a licence. But the repeal of the accommodation act could remove the requirement that campers rest overnight only in registered campgrounds.

The campground industry refers to the practice of camping overnight in shopping mall parking lots or on the side of the road as "indiscriminate camping."

In general, it appears the provincial government has decided that licensing all tourism operators in the province isn’t worth the political headache it causes each year.

Aside from complaints from campground owners, every year the government receives complaints from the tourism sector calling for a crackdown on unlicensed tourist accommodations in the province. That’s everything from people renting out their family cottage for some extra income to unlicensed bed and breakfast operators renting out an extra bedroom in their home.

The bill repealing the act isn’t expected to be tabled in the legislature until spring, but in the meantime tourism operators around the province are trying to figure out what it will mean to them.
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