Record Breaking Tourism Numbers Surpass Strategy Goals

November 7, 2019
News Releases

Tourism numbers in the Northwest Territories (NWT) surpassed existing records again in 2018-19. Over 120,000 people visited the NWT spending more than $210 million in the process.

The announcement came today from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) during the NWT Tourism Conference in Yellowknife.

The numbers reflect a 7% increase in visitor numbers over the previous year and a 3% increase in visitor spending.  That surpasses goals set by the Government of the Northwest Territories’ in the Tourism 2020 strategy of growing the industry to $207 million by 2021.

Aurora viewing, the largest category within the leisure segment, continued to thrive with a double-digit annual growth of 19%, in both visitation and spending. Fishing and hunting rebounded this year after experiencing declines the last two years with significant growth in the number of visitors (23%) and spending (20% for fishing, 23% for hunting). Meanwhile, the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway continued to be a draw for visitors to the Beaufort Delta Region as general touring visits increased by 10%.



“The record breaking tourism numbers reflect the hard work of the Northwest Territories tourism industry: the tour operators, the marketing agencies, the welcoming communities and multiple levels of governments. As we continue to see growth, new opportunities are arising and the Government of the Northwest Territories will continue to ensure our residents benefit from tourism industry growth.

-Katrina Nokleby, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment



Quick Facts:

  • Total visitor spending has increased by 43% over the last five years; up from $146.6 million in 2014-15 to $210.3 in 2018-19.
  • Total number of visitors increased by 42% over the last five years; up from 84,810 in 2014-15 to 120,130 in 2018-19.


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Media Contact:


Briony Grabke

Senior Communications Officer

Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Phone: 867-767-9202  Ext. 63049