July 2017 marks another strong month of growth in non-resident visitation to Nova Scotia, with visitation up by nine per cent, or an additional 32,000 visitors, according to statistics released today, Sept. 13, by Tourism Nova Scotia.
Of the 32,000 additional visitors in July, 23,000 arrived by air, an increase of 27 per cent. Visitation by road increased by three per cent.
“I am continually impressed by the strong economic growth the tourism industry is achieving this year,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister responsible for Tourism Nova Scotia. “A growing tourism sector means more jobs for young Nova Scotians and more revenue to many communities and industries across the province.”
“We are pleased to see this exceptional growth in air travel,” said Michele Saran, CEO, Tourism Nova Scotia. “Visitors who arrive by air are higher spenders and are key to achieving economic growth in Nova Scotia’s tourism industry. Improving air access to the province will continue to be a priority for us as we work toward reaching $4 billion in tourism revenues for Nova Scotia by 2024.”
Most of the new July visitors were from Ontario (up 21,300), followed by Western Canada (up by 7,000). Visitation from the United States and overseas markets increased by 2,000 visitors each.
So far this year Nova Scotia has seen an increase of 95,000 visitors compared to 2016. Tourism Nova Scotia’s target market of Ontario is responsible for nearly half of these visitors (46,000), contributing more growth than any other market.
Nova Scotians and non-resident visitors bought 392,000 licensed room nights in July, an increase of two per cent over July 2016. The occupancy rate increased by six percentage points to 70 per cent. Halifax sold the most room nights (171,000), followed by Cape Breton (84,000) and the Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley region (64,000).
For the year-to-date July 2017, 1,481,000 licensed room nights were sold in Nova Scotia, an increase of two per cent compared with the same period in 2016. The occupancy rate increased by three percentage points to 51 per cent.
The preliminary estimate of tourism revenues through 2017 is $1.4 billion, compared with $1.3 billion in 2016.