FREDERICTON -- The New Brunswick government will be offering rebates to encourage residents to vacation close to home this summer.

The Explore NB Travel Incentive program will provide a 20 per cent rebate on eligible expenses made during a vacation that includes a paid overnight stay in the province between July 15 and Sept. 30.

Tourism Minister Bruce Fitch says the program was created to stimulate a tourism industry suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says the rebate will encourage travel within the province and support businesses when they need it the most.

Fitch says the incentive program will also benefit the culture and heritage sectors.

Eligible expenses include accommodations, food and drink, activities, vehicle rentals, ferries and parking.