Tourism numbers in the Northwest Territories (NWT) surpassed existing records again in 2018-19. Over 120,000 people visited the NWT spending more than $210 million in the process.
The announcement came today from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) during the NWT Tourism Conference in Yellowknife.
The numbers reflect a 7 per cent increase in visitor numbers over the previous year and a 3 per cent increase in visitor spending. That surpasses goals set by the Government of the Northwest Territories’ in the Tourism 2020 strategy of growing the industry to $207 million by 2021.
“The record-breaking tourism numbers reflect the hard work of the Northwest Territories tourism industry: the tour operators, the marketing agencies, the welcoming communities and multiple levels of governments,” Katrina Nokleby, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment said. “As we continue to see growth, new opportunities are arising and the Government of the Northwest Territories will continue to ensure our residents benefit from tourism industry growth.”
Aurora viewing, the largest category within the leisure segment, continued to thrive with double-digit annual growth of 19 per cent, in both visitation and spending. Fishing and hunting rebounded this year after experiencing declines in the last two years with significant growth in the number of visitors (23 per cent) and spending (20 per cent for fishing, 23 per cent for hunting).
Meanwhile, the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway continued to be a draw for visitors to the Beaufort Delta Region as general touring visits increased by 10 per cent.
Total visitor spending has increased by 43 per cent over the last five years; up from $146.6 million in 2014-15 to $210.3 in 2018-19 while the total number of visitors increased by 42 per cent over the last five years; up from 84,810 in 2014-15 to 120,130 in 2018-19.