News Release - January 12, 2010
2009 A STRONG YEAR FOR TOURISM IN SASKATCHEWAN
More people stopped at Visitor Reception Centres, contacted Tourism Saskatchewan and visited Tourism Saskatchewan's websites in 2009 compared to 2008.
"More and more people are realizing what Saskatchewan has to offer," Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Dustin Duncan said. "Our tourism numbers, in addition to our increasing population numbers, show that people are recognizing our enviable quality of life and they want to experience it."
In 2009, seasonal visits to the five Visitor Reception Centres, located at Maple Creek, Fleming, Lloydminster, Langenburg and North Portal totalled 65,799 - an increase of 19.7 per cent over the 2008 season and the highest level in more than three years.
Also in 2009, there were more than 815,000 hits on Tourism Saskatchewan's websites, an increase of 41 per cent over 2008's record levels. And, there were more than 63,500 inquiries to Tourism Saskatchewan with name capture, an increase of 0.3 per cent over 2008.
"Tourism Saskatchewan's marketing campaigns, online advancements and activities in all departments are planned strategically," Tourism Saskatchewan President and CEO Dr. Lynda Haverstock said. "Careful consideration is given to up-to-date research, current travel trends and markets where we know the return on our investment is strong and the prospects for further growth are significant. The positive figures in 2009 are reassuring. With confidence, we look forward to building upon our accomplishments in 2010."
In addition to the tourism numbers, Saskatchewan hotels and motels saw average occupancies of 67.2 per cent as of October, 2009. That percentage is significantly higher than the Canadian average over the same period of 58.2 per cent.
Those numbers, on top of the record summer for provincial parks, demonstrates Saskatchewan is desirable for tourism. The 2009 summer saw 3.3 million visits to Saskatchewan provincial parks, which is an increase of two per cent over 2008 and 10 per cent over 2007.
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