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Operating Guidelines for Accommodations and Campgrounds

Thursday, May 20, 2021

On May 18, Public Health announced that private campgrounds can only be open for seasonal campers. No short-term camping is allowed at this time. People can go to their seasonal campsite outside their community only if they are staying there for the season. They cannot go back and forth between these places and their primary residence. If people can’t work remotely, it’s best to stay at the place that is closest to their work.

Both Parks Canada and Nova Scotia Provincial Parks have made the decision to delay opening for campers. Private campgrounds must follow the current public health guidelines regarding business restrictions and gathering limits, in addition to sector-specific guidelines. 

See Campground Reopening Guidelines 

Tourism accommodations, such as hotels, motels, cottages, and B&Bs are permitted to open. As you know, people are not allowed to enter the province for non-essential reasons and Nova Scotians are not allowed to travel outside their own community at this time. It is up to businesses whether they open for this limited customer base right now. 

Communicating with Customers

We encourage you to make your customers aware of travel restrictions through your website or when they contact you to make a booking. You can point them to the Province of Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Information for Travellers webpage for more information.

You may want to review and update your cancellation and refund policies as travel restrictions change. Your policies should be clearly communicated on your website and in your interactions with your customers. 

You can also consider how far in advance you want to contact customers about their reservations as travel restrictions evolve. In your planning for the summer, you can develop plans for how you will react under different scenarios, and how you could fill rooms when reservations must be cancelled due to travel restrictions. Keep in mind that, according to the 2019 Visitor Exit Survey, 45% of Atlantic Canadians made the first booking for their trip to Nova Scotia less than two weeks before arriving.


Here are some resources to help you with your business planning and operations:

  • Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program (TARPTRP) – TARPTRP Provides eligible roofed accommodation operators with a one-time 50% rebate on the first 6 months of their commercial property taxes paid for 2021-2022.
  • FAQ - Tourism Nova Scotia will continue to monitor the situation and inform industry of any changes via the Frequently Asked Questions our website and inTouch newsletter.
  • Webinars and Tip Sheets – The Tourism Nova Scotia Webinar Series  offers recorded webinars and tip sheets on a variety of topics that can help you navigate this uncertain time. So far, the series has covered topics like “Ramping Up as the Curve Flattens,” “Promoting Health and Safety During Spring Ramp Up,” “Growing Your Business and Succeeding During Challenging Times,” and “Building a Flexible Social Media Strategy.”
  • Clean it Right - The Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS), in partnership with Tourism Nova Scotia, is offering a new Clean it Right training program  that provides tourism businesses with clearly defined policies and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting their facilities. The program is available online at no cost for the tourism industry for a limited time. 
  • Business Resources & Supports – Tourism Nova Scotia has compiled a Fact Sheet of the federal and provincial programs and resources currently available for tourism businesses.