Slated as one of the premiere festivals in the province, Bathurst Hospitality Days was incepted in 1972, seeing twenty consecutive festivals in the years following. For various reasons, the festival discontinued. In 2002, Hospitality Days were revived under a new format only to become one of the largest events ever held in the greater Bathurst area. With a renewed and stronger vision, we are aiming at becoming one of the largest festival events in our province.
Since its revival in 2002, the Bathurst Hospitality Days have attracted crowds averaging 25,000 to 30,000 over the period of the festival. Our fireworks display has become a coveted event in Northern New Brunswick with people coming from as far as Caraquet and Miramichi to enjoy the show. Other popular events, such as the parade, dual of the dishes, show and shine and the concerts generate some of the larger crowds our area has seen. In fact, the popularity of Hospitality Days is growing at such a rate that members of the organizing committee often receive calls in December from residents living here and away wanting to know the dates of the festival in order to book their vacations at the same time.
Another highlight is the excellent media coverage the festival receives. Since inception, the festival has been featured on CBC, the local community television station, the Telegraph-Journal and l’Acadie Nouvelle. Local media have also adopted the festival with Max 104.9, and the Northern Light / Hebdo Chaleur being sponsors.
In 2003, the co-chairs of the festival were asked to make a presentation to the annual Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick conference held in Bathurst. The festival was promoted as one of the tourism success stories of 2003, an honourable distinction amongst our industry piers.
Hospitality Days were created to bring out the best of our community through manifestations and celebrations. In actual fact, our locality has shown unparalleled friendliness and welcome to its guests by using our greatest asset, each other. It is an opportunity to celebrate family, friends and community pride. Hosting an event such as Hospitality Days also creates a positive economic impact, this being evident through our tourist operators who offer our festival program to thousands of patrons and visitors from across the country and around the world. The positive marketing impact that it offers our region in provincial organizations should also not go unnoticed.