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Key Tourism Performance Indicators

Tourism Nova Scotia gathers and reports tourism statistics on behalf of the tourism industry. These statistics help inform our decision-making, help describe visitors to Nova Scotia, and can be used by tourism businesses and organizations for planning and business development. As tourism indicators are compiled from several sources, data becomes available at different times. Tourism Nova Scotia reports the most up-to-date statistics available so reporting timelines for each indicator may differ.

See the 2021 Tourism Performance Report (PDF)

See 2021 Key Tourism Performance Indicators Data (PDF)


2021 Accommodations Activity in Nova Scotia

Accommodation operators across the province reported a total of 1,797,000 room nights sold in 2021. That represents a 45% increase over the full year 2020 (560,000 more room nights sold) and a decrease of 34% over the full year 2019 (926,000 fewer room nights sold).

In comparison with 2019, six regions had fewer room nights sold over the course of 2021. The largest declines by volume were in Halifax (with 621,000 fewer room nights sold in 2021 versus 2019), and Cape Breton (with 155,000 fewer room nights sold). Yarmouth & Acadian Shores is the only region where room nights sold in 2021 exceeded those of 2019. The region had 60,000 room nights sold in 2021, an increase of 5% compared with the same period in 2019. A key reason for this performance is the opening of a new hotel property in Yarmouth in early 2021, which added significant room inventory in the region.

In the month of December 2021, accommodations operators report 122,000 room nights sold. That represents a 95% increase over December 2020 (60,000 more room nights sold) and a decline of only 1% from December 2019 (1,000 fewer room nights sold). That is the smallest monthly gap in room nights sold compared with 2019 since the pandemic started.

Room nights sales in several regions showed strong results in December, even in relation to pre-pandemic sales. Monthly sales were up over those in December 2019 in four regions: South Shore (up 28%), Cape Breton (up 5%), Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley (up 18%), and Yarmouth & Acadian Shores (up 42%). Meanwhile, sales in Halifax were down only 4% compared with December 2019.

Nova Scotia Room Nights Sold (TNS Accommodations Database):

Bar graph comparing room nights sold in Nova Scotia in 2021 compared with 2019 and 2020.


2021 Sharing Economy Platforms Activity

According to AirDNA data, there were a total of 393,000 room nights booked through sharing economy platforms in 2021, an increase of 22% compared with 2020 and decrease of 19% compared with 2019. 

In the month of December, there were 23,000 room nights booked through sharing economy platforms, an increase of 40% compared with December 2020. Relative to 2019, sharing economy room nights booked were down 6% in December 2021 against the same month in 2019. This stands in contrast with accommodation room night sales among operators included in Tourism Nova Scotia’s database, which were down 1% in the month of December against the same month in 2019. 

Room Nights Booked Through Sharing Economy Platforms:
Bar graph comparing room nights booked through sharing economy platforms in 2021 with 2020 and 2019.

2021 Average Room Rate

According to the latest data from the CBRE Hotels National Market Report, the average room rate for Nova Scotia accommodations was $116 in 2021, an increase of 5% over 2020, and a decline of 21% compared with 2019.

Falling average room rates resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have been most pronounced in the Halifax Regional Municipality. In 2021 the average room rate in HRM was $116 (a decline of 25% from 2019) as compared to the average room rate of $114 in the rest of Nova Scotia (a decline of 7% from 2019).

Average Room Rates Per Night in Nova Scotia:

Bar graph comparing average room rates by month in Nova Scotia in 2021 with 2020 and 2019.

2021 Passenger Enplanements at Halifax Stanfield International Airport

While passenger enplanements are not representative of visitation to Nova Scotia, they reflect passenger traffic (both Nova Scotians and non-resident visitors) at the Halifax airport, which is a good indicator of how travel to Nova Scotia is being affected by the pandemic.

On a year-end basis, enplanements totalled 537,000 in 2021, an increase of 9% compared with 2020 and a decrease of 74% compared with 2019.

In the month of December 2021 enplanements reached 81,000, an increase of 335% compared with December 2020 and a decrease of 44% compared with December 2019.

Passenger Enplanements at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport:Bar graph comparing passenger enplanements at Halifax International Airport in 2021 with 2020 and 2019.


Tourism statistics are compiled from a variety of sources, including:

  • In-person surveys administered to passengers at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  • Motor vehicle enumeration at the Nova Scotia – New Brunswick border
  • Passenger information from ferry operators
  • The Nova Scotia Visitor Exit Survey
  • Operator accommodation occupancy reports
  • Cruise passenger data from Halifax Port Authority and Sydney Ports Corporation
  • Data from Halifax International Airport Authority
  • Attendance data from select tourism operators
  • Room rate data from CBRE Limited
  • Visitor data from provincial and community visitor information centres
  • Data collected by AirDNA regarding room night bookings through sharing economy platforms

These statistics reflect the combined efforts of tourism businesses, organizations, communities, and governments, and include activities by both Nova Scotians and non-resident visitors. There are many factors that contribute to tourism industry performance including events, weather, gas prices, air capacity, currency fluctuations, geo-political circumstances, and industry initiatives such as marketing. Tourism Nova Scotia is just one organization among many contributing to tourism growth. We support tourism growth through marketing in key national and international markets, support for experience and business development, and visitor servicing. For more information about Tourism Nova Scotia's strategy and performance, please see Plans & Reports.