Fredericton / Blog / 201604 / Strong Year Round Room Sales: Fredericton Has Set Record

Strong Year Round Room Sales: Fredericton Has Set Record

Fredericton Tourism Annual Launch

For immediate release:  April 21, 2016

FREDERICTON (NB):  Strong year-round visitation by New Brunswick residents gave Fredericton’s tourism sector the shot in the arm it needed to record an historic economic impact.

Tourism sector revenues hit an all-time high of $241.5 million in 2015, up 3.7 percent from last year.  It is the fourth consecutive year of increases and the first time in nine years that revenues increased more than 3.0 percent.

According to a McKellar, Cunningham and Associates study commissioned annually by Fredericton Tourism, the total number of visitors to the City increased 2.4 percent to 1,390,000. Overnight visitors increased 3.0 per cent to 592,000.

Spending by New Brunswick visitors to Fredericton increased by 5.8 percent to $165 million. Room sales to New Brunswick residents increased by an impressive 7.1 percent, outpacing a provincial average of 1.2 percent.  This activity more than offset a decline in out of province spending by 1.7 per cent.

“It’s the strongest year we’ve had in recent years. We are especially pleased to see an increase in overall room sales of 1.7 percent. That was a very good performance when we look at the performance of cities across the Maritimes. Fredericton was a leader in the region,” said David Seabrook, Manager of Fredericton Tourism and the City’s Assistant Director of Growth and Community Services.

Rooms sales in the off-season increased 4.0 per cent, while falling 3.0 percent in the rest of the Maritimes and by 3.3 percent in the rest of New Brunswick.

“We were helped by an increase in travel to Fredericton by New Brunswick residents.  I think that reflects the emphasis we put on marketing to New Brunswickers,  improved retail shopping product, sport tourism development, meetings and conventions sales,”  reported David Seabrook

The increase in room sales mirrors increases in other areas like airport traffic, which was up 10 per cent, while attendance at major city attractions was up 12%.

Group tour motorcoach room night sales hit another all-time high, up more than 25%. This is the third consecutive year of record numbers in that sector.

The July-August peak leisure travel season did not perform as well for Fredericton, with sales down 8.1 percent from 2014. However, 2014 was an exceptional peak season with July’s occupancy hitting 77%, partly due to hurricane Arthur.

Foreign and U.S. visitation was down 4.0 percent in peak season, but again, this is against a 10 percent increase last year.

“While we didn’t hit record levels in peak season, overall we were strong not only in the summer but throughout the year in 2015,” said Seabrook.

Fredericton Tourism officials are anticipating a good summer tourism season this year.

“With the strong U.S. dollar and reasonably low gas prices, we expect to see more visitation from Canadians forgoing trips south of the border. We may even see some pick up of U.S. visitors as they see the advantage in the exchange rate,” said Seabrook.

“It’s important we continue to build capacity in the tourism sector as we’re seeing new hotels come online. This shows great confidence in Fredericton and we will need to continue to find ways to deliver business as new properties open,” he said.

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For more information, contact David Seabrook, 471-0548.