ST. GEORGE (GNB) – The provincial government officially launched a pilot project today that will give food, fuel and accommodations businesses in southwestern New Brunswick the opportunity to participate in a logo sign program along a section of Route 1 in Charlotte County.

“Your government is committed to working with the private sector to help grow the economy and create jobs,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser. “The Logo Sign Program will give eligible businesses a new opportunity to identify themselves to visitors, and help visitors get where they want to go.”

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is installing four signs at Interchange 52 on Highway 1, near St. George, with the potential to add more signs upon demand. The pilot area extends along a 50 kilometre section of Route 1. This area was chosen based upon the number of eligible businesses and the region’s vibrant tourism sector.

Depending upon the success of the pilot program, it will be extended to other controlled access highways next year.

“We recognize that travellers have only a few seconds to see and interpret highway signage,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “It is important that signage convey the most pertinent information in those few seconds so that tourism operators can reap the maximum benefit of tourism dollars.”

The pilot program will be open to a maximum of six businesses per sign, two each in the categories of food, fuel and accommodations. The provincial government’s inter-departmental sign committee, consisting of employees of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, has compiled a list of eligible businesses within a five-kilometre radius of Interchange 52 and will provide them with information on how they can participate.

The tourism industry is an important job creator, employing more than 42,000 people in New Brunswick and contributing more than $520 million annually to the provincial GDP.