FREDERICTON (NB): While tourism locally and globally was one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic, Fredericton’s tourism & hospitality sector fared better than most, with results showing the City was a leader in Atlantic Canada. The City saw $215 million in tourism revenues in 2021.
Fredericton hotel occupancy recovered somewhat in 2021 but was still down significantly from pre-pandemic levels. Hotel occupancy saw 224,000 nights sold in 2021, the highest in New Brunswick and a 40% increase over 2020 but still down 41% from 2019.
Fredericton Tourism presented it’s 2021 industry results and its aggressive recovery plans for 2022 at their annual spring tourism industry update today at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
“All very promising signs of recovery but the industry still has a long way to go” says Stacey Russell, Manager of Fredericton Tourism. “The past 2 years have been a very challenging time for our industry, and it will take years to fully return to pre-pandemic numbers”.
Fredericton’s Tourism industry saw $215million in visitor spending in 2021, an increase of 50% over 2020 but 41% below it’s pre-pandemic level in 2019. Results were reported by Tourism Economics, a third-party report.
Russell said partnerships with the tourism industry, including the new Tourism Accommodation Levy have been key to leading recovery efforts.
“Over the last 2 years Fredericton Tourism launched aggressive programs to drive business to the tourism & hospitality sector,” said Russell, including the award-winning and innovative Dinner’s on Us hotel packaging program. The program sold more than 4,400 packages and pushed spending into local restaurants and retail shops. Additionally, it’s Dine Around Freddy program sold over 5,600 plates.
Fredericton Tourism also launched the SupportFredLocal campaign, AlFresco for outdoor dining, and the Market Basket online sales platform.
“We hit the ground running to mitigate a desperate situation – our industry was in crisis. A lot of effort was put into capturing as much of the market share as possible, and we’re seeing those gains.” All indicators for 2022 are pointing to a promising tourism year, Russell says. “Visitors are anxious to travel again, with many booking their trips a lot sooner. The return of festivals, events and sport are all encouraging signs for a stronger tourism season”.
With the additional funds raised from the Tourism Accommodation Levy, we will be going into regional and eastern Canada markets stronger than ever this summer.
“Our hotel sector asked that we continue with the Dinner’s on Us program for another year to aid in recovery efforts. With the help of the new Tourism Accommodation Levy, we’ve been able do that, which is exciting,” said Russell.
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Contact: Stacey Russell
Manager, Fredericton Tourism & Events