Skip to main content

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 Full Tourism Performance Indicators YTD August 2021

See Full Tourism Performance Indicators January - December 2020

August 2021 Accommodations Activity in Nova Scotia

In the month of August 2021 accommodations operators report 307,000 room nights sold. That represents a 90% increase over August 2020 (a difference of 145,000 room nights sold) and a decline of 22% from August 2019 (a difference of 86,000 room nights sold).

Room night sales continue to recover with strong month over month performance, particularly in Halifax. Room nights sold reached almost 142,000 in Halifax in August, a 60% increase over the room nights sold in July. All regions of the province saw improvements in room night sales in August. 

On a year-to-date basis, operators report 1,017,000 room nights sold as of August. That represents a 27% increase over the same period in 2020 (a difference of 217,000 room nights sold) and a decrease of 45% over the same period in 2019 (a difference of 831,000 room nights sold).

In comparison with 2019, all regions still have fewer room nights sold year-to-date. The largest declines by volume are in Halifax (with 542,000 fewer room nights sold in 2021 versus the same period in 2019), Cape Breton (with 133,000 fewer room nights sold) and Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley (with 79,000 fewer room nights sold). The smallest declines by volume are in Eastern Shore (with 5,000 fewer room nights sold) and Yarmouth & Acadian Shores (with 3,000 fewer room nights sold).

Yarmouth & Acadian Shores is the only region to see substantially higher monthly room nights sold than in any corresponding month in 2019, pre-pandemic. In August 2021, the region had 10,000 room nights sold, a 31% increase over August 2019.  

Nova Scotia Room Nights Sold (TNS Accommodations Database):

Bar graph comparing room nights sold YTD August 2021 with 2020 and 2019.


August 2021 Sharing Economy Platforms Activity

According to AirDNA data, in the month of August, there were 65,000 room nights booked through sharing economy platforms, an increase of 17% compared with August 2020.

On a year-to-date basis there were 244,000 room nights booked as of August 2021, an increase of 8% compared with the same period in 2020. 

Relative to 2019, room night sales were down 32% in the month of August compared with August 2019 and were down 26% year-to-date August 2021 compared with the same period in 2019. 

Room Nights Booked Through Sharing Economy Platforms:
Bar graph comparing room nights booked through sharing economy platforms YTD August for 2021, 2020, and 2019.

August 2021 Average Room Rate

According to the latest data from the CBRE Hotels National Market Report, the average room rate for Nova Scotia accommodations is $107 year to date August 2021, a decline of 7% from the same period in 2020, and a decline of 27% compared with the same period in 2019.

Falling average room rates resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have been most pronounced in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). Year-to-date August 2021, the average room rate in HRM is $105 (a decline of 10% from the same period in 2020) as compared to the average room rate of $110 in the rest of Nova Scotia (a decline of less than 1% from the same period in 2020).

August 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.

In the month of August 2021 enplanements reached 93,000, an increase of 225% compared with August 2020. This marks the fifth consecutive month of passenger percentage growth at the airport relative to monthly volumes in 2020.

Year-to-date August, enplanements totalled 195,000, a decline of 52% compared with the same period in 2020.

Relative to 2019, enplanements were down 62% in August compared with August 2019, and were down 86% year-to-date August compared with the same period in 2019.

Passenger Enplanements at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport:

Bar graph comparing passenger enplanements at Halifax International Airport YTD August in 2021, 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.