Building on strong investments and tangible growth across the Northwest Territories (NWT) Tourism sector, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is now looking forward to the next five years of tourism development in the territory.

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. Arthur C. Green/The Moose 100.1 FM

The GNWT, led by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) has begun public and stakeholder engagements on its Tourism 2025 strategy to succeed Tourism 2020: Opening our Spectacular Home to the World.

This will be the territory’s fourth consecutive five-year plan for tourism investment.

“Tourism is an important sector across the Northwest Territories,” Katrina Nokleby, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment said. “The GNWT is confident that with strategic planning, support and guidance, this sector can foster new jobs, small business ventures, investments in community infrastructure and services – and will serve to both promote and preserve our territory’s rich environment, history, cultures and traditions.”

Until December 10, ITI will lead a cross-territory engagement process to hear from tourism and hospitality professionals, Indigenous governments, and the public on how it can continue to grow the territory’s second-largest industry.

The total current value of the Northwest Territories’ tourism industry is $210.3 million. Tourism 2020 set a target of $207 million.

Input will be collected and analyzed by independent consultants and will be considered alongside research on industry trends and government best practices as the strategy is developed.

At more than 120,000 annual visitors and a 43 per cent five-year increase in spending — including a 74 per cent increase in leisure travelers, Tourism 2020 achieved its goals.

Community visits will be complemented by a robust online presence.

agreen@vistaradio.ca

Twitter.com/artcgreen