FREDERICTON (GNB) – Tourism contributed $605 million to the New Brunswick GDP in 2015, a trend that is continuing into the 2016 tourism season.

“Our tourism sector plays a critical role in job creation for New Brunswickers,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “The tourism industry currently employs 42,100 people in our province. We will continue to promote New Brunswick as a world-class travel destination because we recognize how important tourism is to our economy and our communities.”

New Brunswick’s rich and unique history coupled with the highest tides in the world are factors in attracting tourists. In 2015, non-resident visitor spending was $441 million. This spending, together with other tourism-related revenues, provided $87 million in provincial tax revenue.

Gallant spoke of the importance of tourism to the New Brunswick economy at the recent caucus retreat in Plaster Rock. He encouraged caucus members to visit tourist attractions and to promote their visit on social media using the hashtag #NBProud.

“It will help promote the beautiful scenery and wonderful touristic assets we have in all regions of New Brunswick,” said Gallant. “The Plaster Rock World Pond Hockey Championship is a great example of what we have to offer tourists during other seasons. By promoting tourism during all four seasons, we will create more jobs for New Brunswickers.”

The next set of data for the 2016 tourism season will be available in September.

“It is important that we continue to invest in promoting our provincial treasures,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “The tourism industry represents a key economic generator for our province and is complementary to many of our industries including recreation and entertainment.”

“The economic and social impact of our provincial parks and attractions cannot be overstated,” said Gallant. “New Brunswick is home to some of the most renowned attractions in the world and our government is proud to support our tourism industry.