Visitation to Nova Scotia is up for the first half of 2016, according to results released today, July 29, by Tourism Nova Scotia.
From January to June 2016, non-resident overnight visitation increased eight per cent compared to the same period in 2015. Visitation by air increased by three per cent and road visitation increased by 11 per cent.
“It’s promising to see strong growth so early in the year,” said Michele Saran, chief executive officer, Tourism Nova Scotia. “Most non-resident tourism visitation happens between July and October in Nova Scotia and we’re optimistic this will be a very successful year for tourism businesses throughout the province.”
Close to 800,000 non-resident overnight visitors came to Nova Scotia in the first six months of 2016. Most come from other provinces and visitation from Canada is up eight per cent. Nova Scotia is also experiencing a 12 per cent increase in visitation from the United States, with a seven per cent decline in visitation from overseas markets.
Room nights sold across the province increased by three per cent compared to the same period in 2015. This number includes room nights purchased by non-resident overnight visitors, as well as room nights purchased by Nova Scotians and people travelling for reasons other than tourism. Cape Breton, which represents 13 per cent of all room nights sold in Nova Scotia, is experiencing tremendous growth, with an increase of 16 percent compared to the same period in 2015.
“It’s been a phenomenal year so far,” said Sharon Harrison, owner of Lantern Hill and Hollow guest rooms and ocean view cottages on the Cabot Trail. “We saw an increase in bookings in early May and June, and we’re on track to have our best revenue year since opening in 2002.”
For the first six months of the year, tourism revenues are estimated at $971 million. Tourism revenue estimates are a compilation of all Nova Scotia tourism-related spending made by non-resident visitors and Nova Scotians travelling within the province.
Nova Scotia Tourism is working with industry partners to meet the goal of $4 billion in tourism revenues by 2024. Based on the first six months of performance, 2016 tourism revenues are projected to reach $2.5 billion, on par with 2015.
For a full breakdown of January to June 2016 results see http://tourismns.ca/nova-scotia-tourism-performance.