FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick experienced an increase in the number of tourists in the summer of 2017, the second increase in the past two years.

“Our premier and our government have been working hard with tourism partners to boost this industry,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “We have been listening to New Brunswickers and working with industry stakeholders, who want economic growth in the tourism sector to be a priority, and we are seeing results.”

Ames said he is pleased with this year’s summer tourism season.

“We had great weather throughout the summer and that weather continued into the fall, which we hope will continue to boost the number of tourists visiting New Brunswick,” he said.

There was a six per cent increase in campsite rentals at provincial parks between June and September, leading to the highest number of campers in the province since 2008. There were also increases in visitation at numerous sites and attractions across the province.

The Hopewell Rocks welcomed 286,202 visitors between June and September, an increase of 17 per cent over 2016. Other attractions that reported increases over the same period include:

  • Kings Landing Historical Settlement, up 19 per cent
  • Kingsbrae Garden, up 15 per cent
  • New Brunswick Aquarium and Marine Centre, up six per cent
  • New Brunswick Botanical Garden, up 14 per cent
  • New Brunswick Museum, up six per cent
  • Roosevelt Campobello International Park, up eight per cent
  • Village Historique Acadien, up six per cent

Overall, public attractions included in New Brunswick’s tourism indicators reported a 10 per cent increase in attendance from June to September compared to the same period in 2016, despite a 26 per cent drop in the number of visitors to Parlee Beach.

In addition, the accommodation industry had a four per cent increase in room sales between January and September 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. The provincial accommodation occupancy rate was up three percentage points over that period.

“Our industry members everywhere are confirming that New Brunswick’s 2017 summer season has positively been one of the best tourism seasons they have ever seen,” said Ronald Drisdelle, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick.

The tourism industry employs more than 42,000 people in New Brunswick and contributes more than $520 million annually to the provincial GDP. For every public dollar invested in promoting New Brunswick as a tourism destination, there is an estimated return of $3.19 to the province.