Sunday Shopping and Tourism

Jun 1st, 2003, 08:10 AM
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Sunday Shopping and Tourism

Would a city that's malls were closed on Sundays and Holidays, make you not want to vacation there? If there was a city with Sunday shopping only 2 hours away, make you decide to go there instead?

The reason I am asking is because our city is trying to get sunday and holiday shopping and saying that tourists are passing us by to go to another city, because they do have those options.

I would have to say that I wouldn't go to a city just cause the malls were open
LissaJ is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 09:26 AM
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Shopping is a primary endeavor of many travelers. If I were picking a destination based upon shopping opportunities, and my dates included a Sunday or holiday, I would definitely not pick one where nothing was open on the Sunday or holiday. I'd surely not select a destination where the nearest shopping was a whopping two hours away, as the shopping would need to be in walking distance or a very short drive!

Like you, I do not select destinations for the shopping malls. And, when selecting destinations, I never check to ensure that stores are open on Sundays or holidays.

When we took the Cape May (NJ) - Lewes (Delaware) ferry during a visit to Cape May, there were three shuttles on the other side. One to historic downtown Lewes, another to Rehoboth Beach, another to "the outlet malls". NO ONE went to downtown Lewes; we were the only ones taking the Rehoboth Beach shuttle (for the scenery and to enjoy a nice lunch on the ocean). Everyone else filled up the "outlet mall" buses.

In our town, the malls and stores along the main roads outside of our downtown are open Sundays and most holidays. But, all of the shops downtown area and on our lovely Main Street are closed on Sundays and holidays (nearly all the restaurants are open). So, the shoppers can shop if they want to. Just because stores can be open on Sundays and holidays, they don't HAVE to be open.

If your town is looking for more tourist dollars (for the hotels, restaurants, SALES TAXES...) opening the stores may achieve that goal.

But, most travelers depart on Sunday or the Monday holiday.

djkbooks is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 03:34 PM
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Toronto has Sunday shopping, as of fairly recent vintage.

And Ontario has public holiday shopping laws that close most stores on major and semi-major holidays.

The Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto, a giant indoor shopping mall, is the number on tourist attraction in Toronto, according to some number-keepers, and the law allows city council to designate some parts of the city as tourist attractions, allowing them to stay open on holidays.

So here the question is not Sunday shopping -- everyone who wants to be open is open -- but Holiday shopping. Tourists not only want to buy stuff on normal Sundays'; they want to buy all during a long weekend.

They find entertainment value in simply looking at things. Window shopping is not good enough. They want to go into the stores and see the local jewelry, compare shoes with those back home, etc.

There are instances in Canada where different store hours in US border cities pulled Candadians into the US, and the great expansion of Sunday shopping in Canada has minimized this.

For semi-tourists -- that's people in nearby communities who might go visit the city -- Sunday shopping is a big deal. If people in Amherst, Nova Scotia could go to either Moncton or Halifax on a Sunday, and go shopping in one and not in the other, over the course of a year, many more would have been to Shoppingville.

Sunday shopping is a religious issue in some towns, and a social issue -- when am I going to see my family? -- in other towns, but most cities that have it seem not interested in closing it down.

Ontario's holiday closing laws are tighter now than they used to be, and store owners and tourists complain, but the traditionalists are happy. And besides, special provisions let the garden centers, for instance, stay open for 'seasonal' sales. On the recent 24th of May weekend, we were annoyed in Oakville that we could not grocery shop, not as tousists but as residents, while the people in Toronto, half an hour away, had open supermarkets.

BAK is offline  
Jun 1st, 2003, 04:54 PM
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For me, no, I would not rule out a destination based on Sunday shopping. It may be important for others who can't find interesting things to do other than shop, but I think it's nice personally that people take a day of rest to either practice their faith or simply take a breather from the toils of their work. I was recently in Nova Scotia, where this debate was taking thought on that is, with all the history, museums, gardens and natural attractions in Nova Scotia, tourists should have no trouble finding non-shopping things to do. Of course, restaurants were open in NS on Sunday, so even with our meager planning arriving late Saturday evening, we had no problems whatsoever.
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2003, 09:15 AM
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That is my thought exactly, there are so many other things to do that I would not want to go to a boring mall, like we have at home
LissaJ is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2003, 11:07 AM
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Lissa, one of the problems is that not only would the boring malls be closed, but so would the gift shops and the speciality stores that tourists love,unless, of course, politicians have decided these retails should be allowed to sell while otehrs are forced under penaly of going to jail to stay closed.

Depending on where someone comes from, a visit to a decent-sized city is an opportunity to visit speciality stores that are not back home. Would giant book stores be closed? My office is near a big Chapters, and it's full of tourists on the weekends, often from smaller citeis with smaller book stores. Camera stores and hobby shops often are few and far between in home towns, but there are excellent ones in some tourist destinations, and people could not shop there. Music/CD/video stores are often much bigger in larger communities, and small town people go to the city for many of these purchases.

Commercial art galleries are a real problem/ opportunity. As toruists wander through the streets in an old, historical part of town, should them be forced to put their noses against a window and squint because some politician thinks a retailer should be denied the opportunity to sell because it is a religious holiday for some but far from all citizens?

Besides, the tourist wants to buy the painting. Should the artist be denied the sale because 1/7th of the far way tourist and 1/2 of the nearby tourist visit time is forbidden-sale day?

Assuming the local museum is allowed to open (what? Are not museum staff entitled to a day of worship?) is the museum gift shop allowed to be open? It competes with the freestanding gift shop down the road, and come to think of it, Sears and the Bay both sell maple syrup and postcards and Inuit sculptures and paintings for over the couch, too.

To a great many people, the mall is not boring, it is the site of entertainment and amusement, etc.

And, depending on where you come from and where you are visiting, what's available at the destination mall is very different from what's at home.

Yes, Wal-mart's everywhere, and the Gap is in lots of medium sized cities, but it's hard to find a Harry Rosen or Best Buy or Vistek or George's Trains, Holt Renfrew, a big Bay store, or .... in Brandon or Sussex or Swift Current or even London or Hamilton or Quebec City. I remember being surprised to see a photo of an Eddie Bauer's in Moncton, and I can imagine lots of people from a hundrd miles around dropping into that store on a Sunday and happily investing in some clothes they've seen in fashion magazines but can't buy at home.

Retailing is a huge part of tourism. People drive hundreds of miles to the Mall of America. West Edmonton Mall is a huge tourist draw in that ciyt. There are bus tours that take Los Angelos tourists (and probably some residents) down the coast to a mall in Newport Beach. My firend Sharon and two of her girlfriends used to set off for Buffalo every couple of months to buy stuff. And Sharon, in partuclalr, needed the shoe stores in Huntsville, Alabama, to be open Sundays. She was working the other days there, and could not come back to Toronto without shoes, could she?

Bar Harbor, Boothbay Harbor, Cape May, Glouchester and Cape Cod are all Sunday-shopping friendly places, and they are taking tourist dollars from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Anyway, it's a complicated topic, and thanks for bringing it up and getting me thinking about it.

BAK is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2003, 09:20 PM
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My experience has always been if the stores are closed-the attractions will be as well. (BAK made me think of this when he wrote about the museum being closed) Take Europe for example. Just about everything is closed on Sunday. (or after 6 weeknights!) I went to my religious meeting in the morning, but in the afternoon I was bored.

I have mixed feelings. On one hand I think it is great that they don't care about the mighty $ and they seem to care more about quality time with family etc.-on the other hand. I am a tourist. I didn't travel all that way to be bored. (Then I feel guilty about feeling that way)
FromAtlanta is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 03:45 AM
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in my area the major attractions are the scenery..and the major tourist attractions are open.
LissaJ is offline  
Jun 4th, 2003, 06:58 AM
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Some of us (LissaJ,DanielWilliams, me) shop to travel ...

Others travel to shop. To each their own, I guess. Probably neither group will really understand the other.
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  

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