SAINT JOHN (GNB) – Increasing visitor spending to $2 billion by 2025 is a key objective of the New Brunswick Tourism Growth Strategy: New Tourism Economy. Premier Brian Gallant launched the first new comprehensive tourism strategy since the 1990s today in Saint John.

“Your government recognizes the huge economic potential tourism holds. This strategy sets the groundwork for a thriving tourism industry in New Brunswick,” said Gallant. “Increased tourism will lead to more jobs and a stronger economy which will benefit all New Brunswickers. We will work hard with partners to get results and grow the tourism sector in all regions of the province.”

Tourism has been identified as a key opportunity for growth in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan. Currently, tourism visitor spending is estimated at $1.3 billion, making it the third-largest service sector in the province.

As a result of this strategy, New Brunswick aims to increase visitor spending by 57 per cent over 2016 levels by 2025. This would represent an additional $133 million in provincial tax revenue and lead to the creation of up to 4,800 new jobs in the tourism sector.

“It is time to do something bold and different,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “Product and experience innovation is the cornerstone of the New Brunswick Tourism Growth Strategy and the most important solution toward lasting, heightened competitiveness.”

The strategy focuses on five main pillars:

  • Elevation of Tourism Economic Stature – raise awareness and appreciation of the economic importance of tourism as a key sector of the New Brunswick economy.
  • Research, Technology and Performance Metrics – establish innovative tourism leading practices in research, technology and performance metrics.
  • Product and Experience Innovation – develop world-class products and experiences that will achieve visitation and revenue goals in identified markets.
  • Advance Partnership Investment and Alignment – align partnership investment to foster product innovation, entrepreneurship and market development.
  • Brand and Market Ownership – develop a generational brand resulting in increased visitor spending to New Brunswick from identified markets.

“The New Brunswick Tourism Growth Strategy is a solid foundation for the continued innovation and momentum we have recently witnessed from private investors in new tourism products and experiences in Saint John,” said Victoria Clarke, executive director of Discover Saint John. “Skywalk Saint John, TimberTop Adventures and the Gahan House are not only providing visitors with more reasons to stay and spend money in the province, they are growing our economy through new jobs.”

“We are excited for the opportunities that the New Brunswick Tourism Growth Strategy can bring to our province in terms of wellness benefits, economic prosperity and a good environmental education, specifically the northern region,” said Samuel Daigle, co-owner of Nepisiguit Adventures. “Our small group outdoor adventures are guided by very passionate people that grew up in this vast playground and we look forward to how we can share our experience with even more New Brunswickers and visitors to our province alike.”

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.

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.