The New Brunswick logo is shown during a press conference in Fredericton, N.B., on February 17, 2020. The government of New Brunswick announced the Explore NB Travel Incentive program on Wednesday to encourage its residents to vacation within the province. (The Canadian Press/Stephen MacGillivray)

New Brunswick initiative encourages residents to vacation within province 

The government of New Brunswick announced on Wednesday a new initiative to encourage its residents to vacation within the province. 

The initiative, called the Explore NB Travel Incentive program, was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help stimulate the local tourism industry within the province.

The program allows residents from New Brunswick to apply for a 20 per cent rebate on eligible expenses while taking a vacation that includes a paid overnight stay within the province between July 15. and Sept. 30.

“This program is part of our ongoing efforts in assisting the tourism, cultural and recreational sectors to survive, recover and reimagine their future as they go through the pandemic,” said Bruce Fitch, the tourism, heritage and culture minister. “This rebate will not only encourage New Brunswickers to travel and discover the natural beauty and diversity of our province but to also support our industries during a period of time they need it the most.”

There are four categories of eligible expenses; accommodations, which includes hotels, inns and campsites, food and drinks, such as restaurants and food trucks, activities, such as entrance fees to museums, art galleries and cultural events, and travel, which includes vehicle rentals, parking, and ferries. 

Residents that qualify can apply for the 20 per cent rebate on eligible expenses up to $1,000. 

In order to qualify, the person must be a permanent resident of New Brunswick, have valid receipts from registered businesses in New Brunswick, and have a paid overnight stay at a New Brunswick accommodation. 

The program was developed by the Tourism Labour Force Adjustment Committee, which is composed of industry representatives, including the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick.

Applications for the Explore NB Travel Incentive program will be available online and must be submitted between Oct. 1 to Oct. 30. 

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