FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will not institute tourism marketing funds, also known as hotel levies, to the overall cost of participating hotels and accommodation services in the province.

“After thorough discussions with the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick, our government will not implement legislation that would support a tourism marketing fund in the province,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “With the recent release of the New Brunswick Tourism Growth Strategy, we believe our investments in provincewide tourism products and initiatives will yield significant results.”

The association had indicated its desire for legislation that would allow municipalities to create bylaws to collect destination marketing fees. Tourism marketing funds are already collected on a volunteer basis by five of the province’s destination marketing organizations.

Tourism has been identified as a key opportunity for growth in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan.

The New Brunswick Tourism Growth Strategy will invest $100 million in tourism over the next eight years, with a goal of growing tourism-related GDP to $2 billion by 2025. Tourism visitor spending is estimated at $1.3 billion, making it the third-largest service sector in the province.

Record investments have been made in tourism, with the budget for the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture increasing by 17.6 per cent in 2017-18. In addition, as part of the 2018-19 capital budget, the government will invest $12.6 million on parks, trails, historic sites and other tourism infrastructure. This represents a 19.1 per cent increase over the level of investment last year.