The province’s tourism industry is well on track to fulfil the government’s plan to increase visitor spending to $1.6 billion annually by 2020.
During a luncheon address to delegates at the Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador 2018 conference and trade show, Premier Dwight Ball announced that total tourism spending in 2016 was $1.13 billion.
Ball said the continued growth is a reflection of the efforts of the nearly 20,000 people employed in more than 2,600 tourism-related businesses in the province.
“The mood is good. The mood is very positive amongst this industry and we’re more than willing to continue to work with them to continue to promote Newfoundland and Labrador,” Ball said.
The 2016 Visitor Exit Survey conducted by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation found that non-residents and residents each spent more than $560 million.
Further signs of growth were evident in 2017, when the province welcomed more than 553,000 visitors, who spent an estimated $575 million, the highest level of non-resident visitation and spending in the history of the province’s tourism industry.
Going back to 2015, non-resident visitation is up eight per cent and spending increased by 11 per cent.
To maintain that level of growth, the premier said, it’s a matter of continuing what is already happening to bolster the industry.
“We just want to make sure that as a government we create the environment for their success, we create that environment for investment, but most importantly it’s about the experience when people visit Newfoundland and Labrador,” Ball told reporters.
“We want to make sure we work with this industry so that it is a positive experience, and it’s experiences I can share with many people as I get a chance to travel the province and I hear it every day, about the great work this industry is doing.”