'I'm keeping my fingers crossed': N.B. tourism hotspot banks on the Atlantic Bubble this summer

News of a possible Atlantic Bubble by July 1 has the tourism hotspot of Shediac, N.B. hoping for the best this summer.

With loosened restrictions, locals are feeling cautiously optimistic.

Denise LeBlanc has been running the Shediac Bay Cruises for the last 13 years.

"It’s a big question mark," says LeBlanc. "Last summer was a bit of a disaster for us because we lost about 85 per cent of our revenues.”

With the possibility of the Atlantic bubble reinflating in July, there's hope a lot more tourists will arrive this summer.

“You can’t hire people and then not have them work, so that’s one of the big challenges that we face at this time. We’re just hoping for the best I guess," LeBlanc says.

An uncertain summer for a town that relies so heavily on visitors from out of province.

"Mostly Quebecers book at our place and this summer we expect that we will have a terrific season at the restaurant and hopefully we can get back some momentum for the bed and breakfast," says Sébastien Després, owner of restaurant Le Moque-Tortue.

A year into the pandemic, many businesses are trying to make up for lost time.

"If they do open up the borders, then we hope it's in a safe way we hope that we can keep doing business and not risk a shutdown mid-season," says Després

Vaccine rollout is well on track in New Brunswick, meaning the province is inching closer to a more 'normal' summer.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed because look, we want the end to the pandemic, the sooner the better," says Shediac Mayor Roger Caissie. "It'll help our businesses and our community."

It's a reason for optimism in hopes that warmer and busier days are ahead.