DUMFRIES (GNB) – Maple season is here and New Brunswickers are encouraged to take advantage of all the products and experiences the industry has to offer.

“Your government understands the importance of tourism, particularly food and beverage tourism, to the economy,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “That is why we have identified the maple syrup industry and maple syrup tourism as a growth opportunity in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan. We continue to work in partnership with the industry to grow this sector, develop new markets and create job opportunities. By working together to build on our successes, we can get more people to savour every moment in New Brunswick.”

The Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, in partnership with the New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association, created the Tap into New Brunswick industry program to enhance maple tourism experiences and increase the industry’s presence in the province.

“Making maple the focal point of this provincewide campaign is very important to our members,” said Louise Poitras, executive director of the New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association. “It is an annual event that creates opportunities for both our producers and partnering brewers and distillers. It is about giving travelers and residents alike what they want - a more genuine, authentic New Brunswick Tap to Table sweet-tasting experience.”

“Food tourism contributes to the long-term sustainability of agriculture producers and the resilience of the local food system,” said Agriculture, Mines and Rural Affairs Minister Andrew Harvey. “The promotion of local foods and agri-tourism provides an important revenue stream for farmers, restaurant owners and communities. It is also a learning experience that visitors of all ages cherish. We are pleased to encourage agri-tourism and highlight the authentic cultural, agricultural and culinary experiences New Brunswick has to offer.”

Annual revenues from the maple syrup industry have grown ten-fold over the past two decades to $32 million. With 2.3 million taps recorded during the 2016 Census of Agriculture, the industry creates about 2,300 seasonal and part-time jobs in New Brunswick each year and that number is expected to rise significantly.

The Local Food and Beverage Strategy and the maple syrup industry were identified as key opportunities in New Brunswick’s Economic Growth Plan. The plan outlines how the government will mobilize to ensure there is a co-ordinated effort to improve and grow the economy and create jobs.

More information on sugar camps, maple craft beverages, taffy on the snow or any other “maplelicious” New Brunswick experience, is available online at www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca and www.mapleliciousnb.com.