January – December 2020 Accommodations Activity
Nova Scotia’s accommodations providers suffered the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Accommodations operators across the province report 1,253,000 room nights sold in 2020 overall, down 54% (a decline of 1,472,000 room nights) compared with 2019.
All regions of the province saw declines in room nights sold. In 2020, Halifax and Cape Breton experienced the largest declines of 59% and 54% respectively. The smallest 2020 declines were in the regions of Eastern Shore (down 38%) and Yarmouth & Acadian Shores* (down 29%).
*The year to date December 2020 decline of 29% in room nights sold in the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores region follows a decline of 20% in 2019, reflecting the ferry not operating in 2019.
Looking specifically at the month of December, the number of room nights sold across the province was down 48% (a decline of 59,000 room nights sold compared with December 2019).
The greatest decline in room nights sold in December was in the region of Halifax, down 60% from the same month in 2019. This contrasts with the rest of the province, which experienced a less severe decline in room nights sold, down only 25% compared with December 2019. The largest decline in room nights sold outside Halifax was in the Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Valley region, down 38% from last year. Meanwhile, there were small increases in room nights sold in the South Shore (up 4% compared with December 2019) and Yarmouth and Acadian Shores (up 17%) regions.
Nova Scotia Room Nights Sold (TNS Accommodations Database):
June – October 2020 Campground Activity
Between June to October 2020, campground activity ranged from a high of 174,000 campground site nights sold in August (down 32% from the same month in 2019) to a low of 42,000 site nights sold in October (down 30%).
Notably, the percentage decline in campground site nights sold was less pronounced than that of room nights sold. Between June and October, site night losses ranged between -17% and -40% on a monthly basis, while room night losses ranged between -47% and -75% over the same period. This suggests that while the pandemic depressed sales for both accommodation types, it was less severe for campgrounds, which likely saw greater benefit from Nova Scotians and perhaps other Atlantic residents travelling within the Atlantic bubble.