HALIFAX – More visitors came to Nova Scotia in 2012. The province welcomed 1,993,300 visitors, a two per cent increase from 2011.
"While we are encouraged by this growth, we have work to do," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris in a news release. "As we get ready to roll out our 2013 marketing activities, we will continue to work with industry partners, through the new Nova Scotia Tourism Agency, to create a long-term strategy for tourism that will promote innovation and competitiveness as part of government's jobsHere plan to grow our economy."
In 2012, 88 per cent of visitors came from other parts of Canada, with eight per cent from the United States and three per cent from overseas. About 68 per cent travelled by road and 32 per cent arrived by air.
Compared to 2011, the number of visitors from other parts of Canada increased by 48,200, or three per cent. Visits from Quebec decreased by eight per cent and visits from Western Canada were down two per cent. Visits from Ontario were up three per cent, while visits from Atlantic Canada increased by five per cent.
There was a four per cent decrease, or 2,800 fewer overseas visitors. American visitation was down three per cent in 2012, with 5,600 fewer visitors than in 2011. Road travel was up by four per cent, and air travel decreased by three per cent.
Room nights sold provincially decreased two per cent from 2011 because of shorter stays. In 2012, a larger number of visitors came from Atlantic Canada and stayed fewer nights.
Activity in the accommodation sector declined throughout the regions, with the exception of Yarmouth and Acadian Shores, which saw a slight increase.
"Although it is great to see tourism visits moving in a positive direction, we still have much work to do in improving the number of overall room nights booked in Nova Scotia," said Tom Ruth chair Nova Scotia Tourism Agency. "I am confident that the new tourism marketing campaign from the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency coupled with increased industry input will be catalysts for growth in all sectors of the visitor economy."
Detailed results can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/econ/tourism/research/latest-activity-updates.asp .
Nova Scotia's comprehensive system for reporting monthly tourism statistics includes counting non-resident overnight visitors at entry points to the province and gathering the number of room nights sold from licensed accommodation operators.
Tourism is an important contributor to Nova Scotia's economy. In 2010, the industry directly employed more than 22,000 people and generated revenues of $2 billion.