October, Year-end Tourism Stats Available

Tourism, Culture and Heritage (To Jan. 7)

November 28, 2008 2:45 PM

Nova Scotia's tourism industry has a preliminary revenue estimate of $1.33 billion for 2008, the same as 2007.

The province expects to end the year with about 2.07 million or three per cent fewer visitors and 2.62 million or two per cent more room nights sold.

"For Nova Scotia to have held its ground in the current economic environment speaks volumes about the tenacity and innovation of our tourism industry," said Bill Dooks, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. "It also shows that our multi-year plan has good, research-based strategies that are helping us weather economic challenges."

The province's overarching tourism plan, New Realities, New Directions, was launched in 2006. The department will present plans for continuing to implement it in 2009 at the annual tourism conference on Monday, Dec. 1.

The province welcomed 1,838,000 visitors to the end of October -- a three per cent decrease or about 60,000 fewer visitors compared to the first 10 months of 2007. The number of room nights sold increased by two per cent.

For the month of October, there was a five per cent decrease in visitors and a two per cent increase in room nights sold. Around the province, room nights sold were up in most regions.

While visitors from Quebec were up one per cent in October, the total number of overall visits from across Canada was down four per cent.

Consistent with the trend reported across Canada, there were 16 per cent or about 3,100 fewer American visitors in October. There were 11 per cent fewer overseas visitors, which is about 900 people.

The number of people travelling to Nova Scotia by road decreased by two per cent and visits by air decreased by 11 per cent for the month of October.

Cruise passengers are same-day visitors, so are not included in overall visitor numbers. So far this year, activity was up 29 per cent or about 228,000 visitors at the Port of Halifax and 105 per cent or about 38,800 at the Port of Sydney. The cruise industry brings an estimated $37 million in direct expenditures to Nova Scotia's tourism industry.

Nova Scotia's comprehensive system for reporting tourism statistics includes counting overnight visitors, excluding Nova Scotia residents, at all entry points to the province, and gathering the number of room nights sold from all licensed accommodation operators.

Detailed tourism statistics can be found on the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage website at www.gov.ns.ca/tch/pubs/insights .


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Nova Scotia's tourism industry has a preliminary revenue

estimate of $1.33 billion for 2008, the same as 2007.

     The province expects to end the year with about three per

cent fewer visitors and two per cent more room nights sold.

     Tourism, Culture and Heritage Minister Bill Dooks says the

fact that Nova Scotia held its ground in the current economic

environment speaks volumes about the tenacity and innovation of

the province's tourism industry.

     The department will present plans for marketing and product

development in 2009 at the annual tourism conference on Monday

(December 1st).

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Media Contact: Adèle Poirier
              Tourism, Culture and Heritage
              902-476-7126
              E-mail: poiriea@gov.ns.ca