News Release Archive

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/TOURISM--Banner Year for Nova Scotia Tourism
This year is turning into a banner year for Nova Scotia tourism.

Whether you're looking at air and road entries, rooms booked or
inquiries, the results are the same. Tourism numbers in 1997 are
up significantly from last year and from 1995.

"The numbers this year are showing significant increases across
the board and that's very encouraging," said Manning MacDonald,
Minister of Economic Development and Tourism. "Continued growth
means more jobs, increased revenue and enhanced quality of life
in communities across the province."

From May to August, 188,700 visitors arrived in Nova Scotia by
air. That's an increase of 36 per cent over 1996 and 19 per cent
over 1995. Road visitation is also up significantly. From May to
September, 921,500 road visitors stayed at least one night.
That's an increase of 15 per cent over the same period in 1996
and nine per cent over 1995, reports Tourism Insights, a Tourism
Nova Scotia publication that tracks the industry.

When it comes to accommodation, 1,746,400 room nights were sold
in Nova Scotia from May to September, an increase of seven per
cent over 1996 and four per cent over 1995.

"The numbers are a positive sign that the economy is on the right
track. We're hopeful it will be the trend for future years," said
Susan Bartlett, president of the Tourism Industry Association of
Nova Scotia (TIANS) and owner of Inn on the Lake in Fall River.  

Cruise ship visits are also on course for a record season. This
year to the end of September, 8,400 cruise ship passengers
visited Cape Breton, a 55 per cent increase over last year.
Halifax is showing a year-to-date dip of nine per cent. However,
present bookings confirm that the cruise season will run later
this year than in previous years. For example, the 16,500 cruise
ship passengers who visited Halifax during September represent a
65 per cent increase over September 1996.

That's not all. Inquiries through the province's Check In service
have also increased. During September, requests from New England
were up an astounding 133 per cent, and the number of Canadians
requesting travel literature jumped 85 per cent over September

"We've been working hard to extend our tourism season," said the
minister. "These numbers are a good indication that our marketing
efforts are working."

Judith Cabrita, managing director with TIANS, attributed the
increases to a number of factors. "The link to P.E.I. and the
Cabot celebrations in Newfoundland worked positively for us. So
too did our many festivals, which continue to get ranked in the
Top 100 by the American Bus Association."

She also pointed to new air accords with Air Canada, Icelandair
and Canada 3000, which have resulted in increased flights from

"The Canadian Tourism Commission has indicated that Nova Scotia
is showing the largest per cent increase in total overseas
entries over the January-to-August period," said David Oxner,
executive director with Tourism Nova Scotia. "We're up 15 per
cent over last year while the rest of the country is showing a

Mr. Oxner and Ms. Bartlett sit on an industry and government
partnership committee that's working to strengthen the role of
industry in provincial tourism initiatives. Mr. Oxner is a

"We've held public consultations across the province to get 
feedback on a structure and composition for a new tourism
partnership," he said. "Ultimately, we want to find a new way of
operating together on everything from research and marketing to
strategic planning and product development."

Committee member Doug Fawthrop said the new partnership will give
industry an opportunity to directly participate in the marketing
of its products. "We've had exceptional co-operation and support
on this from the province. Marketing is a critical issue. It's
the right place to start because everyone has an opinion on it,"
said Mr. Fawthrop, innkeeper with White Point Beach Resort in
Queens County. 

Traditionally, the government has taken the lead in tourism
initiatives. Once developed, industry people were then asked to
support the various programs. Both government and industry have a
lot at stake: about $9 million invested on co-operative marketing
ventures each year.

"In the longer term, the partnership will address other
challenges, from competition and transportation access to product
quality and infrastructure," said Mr. Fawthrop.


Contact: Angela Poirier
         Economic Development and Tourism

         David Oxner
         Tourism Nova Scotia

         Susan Bartlett/Judith Cabrita
         Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia

ngr                  Oct. 27, 1997                10:45 am