Saint John Common Council has signed a new five-year funding agreement with Discover Saint John, the destination marketing organization (DMO) for the Saint John region affirming their support for the agency who signed a funding agreement for an equal term with the Saint John Hotel Association earlier this year.
“This partnership celebrates and promotes everything we love about Saint John,” says Mayor Mel Norton. “We’re working together to welcome visitors looking for an urban experience on the Bay of Fundy.”
Last year Saint John had just over 1.5 million visitors who spent an all-time high of $230 million on accommodations, transportation, food and beverage, retail, cultural and tourism experiences according to the Discover Saint John 2014 Annual Report.
“Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world and it’s big business for Saint John” says Paulette Hicks, president of the Saint John Hotel Association. “It’s vital that we continue to promote and sell our city as an ideal destination for meetings & conventions, sports, major events and leisure vacations. The Saint John Hotel Association is thrilled to continue their partnership with the City in supporting Discover Saint John.”
This private-public partnership began in 2010 with formation of Saint John Destination Marketing Inc. (Discover Saint John) through an agreement between the Saint John Hotel Association and Saint John Common Council. The Saint John Hotel Association implemented a voluntary destination marketing fee (DMF) collected for tourism promotion in the region and Common Council maintained funding levels of the former Tourism Saint John. The organization now also includes an Industry membership- base of close to 300 members representing 370 businesses.
“It’s a very exciting time for us,” says Allison Fraser, chair of Discover Saint John. “Our model has become the envy of many DMOs across the region. With the recent contract signing and the recruitment of a new Executive Director , we are thrilled to remain focused on positioning Saint John as the Must-See Destination in Atlantic Canada.”
“Building on the success of our marketing and sales programs, the board has laid the foundation for expanding our services,” says Fraser. “Our next step is a strategic focus on Festivals and Events and we are also recruiting for a Festival and Events Manager.”
Applications for the Executive Director and Festival and Events Manager are being accepted until May 15, 2015.