The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden, Manitoba chalked up 2017 with a visitation explosion.
Museum officials say nearly 13,000 people visited last year — an increase of seven percent increase over 2016 and double its 2013 attendance.
“More than 85 percent of our visitors come from outside of the region,” said CFDC executive director Peter Cantelon. “This is a fantastic statistic for a region like ours that wants as many people as possible from outside the area to experience our communities and see what we have to offer.”
The CFDC has attributed its presence in the region to more than $9 million in tourism revenue for the local economy over the past 20 years.
“Based on our market research we know this is the tip of the iceberg, when the market becomes fully aware of us and we are offering the best experience we can, visitation should be closer to 60,000 people per year.”
One of the highlights for the museum last year was the installation of a two-metre long life-size replica of an Archelon turtle, which the museum has named “Archie,” at the entrance to Morden. The species used to swim the seas that engulfed Morden 80 million years ago.
Cantelon says visitors can look forward to new exhibits planned and more work in the community for 2018.