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Tourism, Culture and Recreation
April 19, 2011

Investments in Tourism, Culture, and Heritage
Strengthen Prosperity in Newfoundland and Labrador

Budget 2011 provides an additional investment of $6.5 million in tourism, culture, and heritage to strengthen prosperity in Newfoundland and Labrador. Tourism products and experiences will be broadened, and support for the arts and heritage sectors will be expanded.

“Our vision is to be a leading tourism destination with authentic experiences offered by our people, culture, and natural environment,” said the Honourable Terry French, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Recreation. “This year’s budget gives us the ability to build on key initiatives outlined in our strategic plans. We will continue to deliver on our commitments to partners in the tourism, culture, and heritage sectors.”

Budget 2011 invests $1.4 million to implement tourism initiatives. Working with destination management organizations and the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board, the goal is to double tourism revenue by 2020 by following the strategic directions outlined in Uncommon Potential: A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism (Vision 2020).

The province welcomed an unprecedented 518,500 non-resident visitors last year, an increase of 7.3 per cent over the previous year (2009). This was the first time the half-million mark was reached and exceeded in Newfoundland and Labrador. Expenditures by non-resident visitors were over $410 million. Since 2003, the Provincial Government has more than doubled its tourism marketing budget from $6 million to $13 million, and has created an award-winning marketing campaign.

Investments in Budget 2011 are as follows:

  • $300,000 to support and develop authentic multi-seasonal products, services, and experiences, and to focus on the development in two high potential areas – Labrador and Twillingate-New World Island area;

  • $450,000 to replace snowmaking infrastructure in Marble Mountain ski resort, a premiere winter tourism attraction;
  • $128,000 to support the installation of 16 new attractions and services signs using the Tourist-Oriented Directional Signage (TODS) model. The total investment in this project over the last three fiscal years is $760,000; and,

  • $500,000 for infrastructure upgrades to the Visitor Information Centre in Argentia to provide an enhanced experience for tourists seeking visitor information.

Vision 2020 identifies public-private leadership as the number one priority in moving tourism forward in Newfoundland and Labrador. Consequently, the Provincial Government will continue to support destination management organizations in the Labrador, central, western, and eastern regions and the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board by confirming an ongoing annual commitment for operational funding.

Culture and Heritage
Through total funding of $5.1 million in Budget 2011, the Provincial Government will build on investments made under its cultural strategy: Creative Newfoundland and Labrador: The Blueprint for Development and Investment in Culture, to further support opportunity in the arts and heritage sectors.

“Since the introduction of the province’s cultural strategy in 2006, over $56 million in new funding has been invested in the cultural and heritage sectors,” said Minister French. “Successes in cultural industries are reinforcing work in tourism. We will continue to support our artistic community, and invest in our tangible and intangible cultural heritage.”

Budget 2011 includes the following investments:

  • $2.8 million is being allocated for the restoration of the Colonial Building with additional funding to be leveraged from other sources;
  • $375,000 to revitalize the presentation of live performances at the regional Arts and Culture Centres and community presentation venues, and to identify curriculum-relevant live presentations for school audiences. New human resources and programming initiatives will help this revitalization. With the addition of 2011 funding, the Arts and Culture Centres receive an annual provincial budget of $5.6 million;

  • $200,000 to the Cultural Economic Development Program for increased support to community-heritage groups and volunteers, and increased operational funding for key heritage attractions. With the addition of the 2011 contribution, the total annual provincial budget is $2.9 million;

  • $150,000 to the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council to sustain a vibrant cultural sector. With the addition of 2011 funding, the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council receives an annual grant of $2.1 million from the Provincial Government;

  • $75,000 in Provincial Historic Sites programming to enhance the appeal and relevance of Provincial Historic Sites, including programming for the new site at Cupids, and to support school outreach; and,

  • $1.5 million for season three of Republic of Doyle. An additional $1.5 million has also been allocated in 2012-13 for season three. This equity investment will bring the total commitment to Republic of Doyle to $7.5 million.

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Media contact:
Diana Quinton
Director of Communications
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
709-729-0928, 631-8155

2011 04 19                                                               2:40 p.m.

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