News release

2014 Tourism Season Numbers Released

According to numbers released today, Jan. 29, Nova Scotia's 2014 peak tourism season saw a five per cent increase in accommodation revenues, the largest increase in room nights sold in one year since 2002.

Nova Scotia welcomed 1.8 million visitors in 2014 as of November 30, with more than half arriving during the peak season of June to September. Overall visitation in some key markets was also up with New England accounting for the largest increase of 19 per cent.

"We made a concerted effort this year through the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency to target key markets that held the most potential for tourism growth," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson. "Today's numbers are positive proof that our efforts, particularly in the eastern United States, have real impact. These results show solid momentum and give us a great jumping off point for 2015."

Room nights sold in 2014 increased by three per cent, compared with the same period in 2013. This growth was seen in most regions of the province. The largest increases were seen on the South Shore with five per cent and Yarmouth and Acadian Shores with 16 per cent. This growth was influenced by the re-introduction of ferry service between Portland and Yarmouth.

"This year was one of the best we've had at White Point, from hosting the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in January to a sold out Christmas season," said Joanne Veinotte, general manager at White Point Beach Resort. "We're known for welcoming guests from around the world. This year we had more visitors from Ontario and the Northeastern United States. We're confident 2015 will be just as strong."

The Nova Scotia Tourism Agency's long-term strategy, released in 2013 and identified as an exemplary initiative by the oneNS Commission, called for a change in focus from Atlantic Canada to markets farther beyond, with the goal of attracting visitors who stay longer and spend more.

This shift influenced the change in visitation numbers. While year-to-date November overall visitation was flat compared to 2013, air visits were up seven per cent. There was a small shift away from Atlantic Canada visitors to other locations, and this shift is expected to continue.

"As a $2 billion industry, tourism is very important to our economy and to Nova Scotians all across the province," said Patrick Sullivan, CEO of the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency. "The growth in accommodations revenue we saw this year was encouraging but we need to do more if we hope to reach the now or never goal of doubling tourism in ten years. To do this we need to build on our recent growth and continue to present Nova Scotia as a travel destination in key markets like Ontario, Quebec and Northeastern United States as well as overseas."

Nova Scotia's tourism statistics are calculated by collecting non-resident overnight visitors at entry points to the province and room nights sold statistics from licensed accommodation operators.

Detailed results can be found at http://novascotiatourismagency.ca/nova-scotia-tourism-performance .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia's 2014 peak tourism season saw a five per cent increase in accommodation revenues and more room nights sold in one year since 2002.

As of the end of November, 1.8 million people visited the province, with more than half arriving during the June to September peak season. While year-to-date November overall visitation was flat compared to 2013, air visits were up seven per cent. Overall visitation from key markets was up with New England accounting for the largest increase.

Most regions of the province saw growth in room nights sold. The largest increases were seen on the south shore with five per cent and Yarmouth and Acadian Shores with 16 per cent. This growth was influenced by the re-introduction of ferry service between Portland and Yarmouth.

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Media Contact:

Sarah Levy MacLeod
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