More than 1.3 million visitors came to Nova Scotia between June and September this year, with many businesses reporting an outstanding summer season.
Peak season visitation was down by about two per cent or 27,000 visitors compared to the same period in 2017, which was a record-breaking year that featured tall ships and Canada 150 celebrations.
When compared to June to September 2016, visitation in 2018 was up eight per cent or by 96,000 visitors.
Licensed room nights sold reached 1.4 million, an increase of one per cent over 2017.
The number of visitors arriving by road decreased by six per cent, which was offset by a seven per cent increase in air visitation.
“This has been a great year, but it will take more hard work and everyone working together to reach the industry’s ambitious goal of $4 billion in tourism revenues by 2024,” said Michele Saran, CEO, Tourism Nova Scotia. “We have to remember we’re competing with the best-known travel destinations in the world to attract visitors. The more we understand our customers and invest in the experiences, accommodations, spaces and products they want, the more successful we’ll be.”
“We had another incredible year here in Inverness and we’re seeing a spike in advance bookings for 2019,” said Andrew Alkenbrack, general manager, Cabot Links in Inverness. “While we still have availability for next year, it seems that the quality of course conditioning, combined with the excitement surrounding our expanding facilities is driving people to plan further in advance. Our team is exceedingly proud of what is happening here, and we’ll be putting in extra effort to ensure that 2019 is our best year yet!”
“At Ironworks, and in Lunenburg, we’ve seen substantial growth in visitors over the last three years,” says Pierre Guevremont, director of Ironworks Distillery. “As a result of this increased traffic, we’re currently building a 1,250 square foot addition to create a larger space for tours, tastings and events to build upon the tourist experience at Ironworks.”
“We were at over 90 per cent occupancy for July, August and September and we had great response to our new glamping experience,” said Jonathon Joseph, managing partner, Argyler Lodge, Glenwood, Yarmouth Co. We’re growing and diversifying what we offer to appeal to more travellers.”
January to September 2018 statistics:
- visitation is down 0.4 per cent (-8,000 visitors) from 2017. Visitation compared with the same period in 2016 remains very robust, up nine per cent, or 155,000 more visitors in 2018
- air visitation is up by eight per cent (+49,000 visitors), while road visitation has declined by four per cent (-57,000 visitors). Visitors who arrive by air tend to stay longer and spend more over the course of their trip, contributing more to tourism revenues
- licensed room nights sold in Nova Scotia of 2,229,000 are up one per cent compared with the same period in 2017
- room nights sold through a sharing economy platform, including licensed and unlicensed accommodations, reached 240,000
Tourism revenue estimates for 2018 will be published in early 2019. A breakdown of tourism performance statistics is available at http://tourismns.ca .