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Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia

Tourism Statistics

Tourism Nova Scotia gathers and reports tourism statistics on behalf of the tourism industry. These statistics help inform our decision-making process, help describe visitors to Nova Scotia, and can be used by tourism businesses and organizations for planning and business development.

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

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.

September 2019 Nova Scotia Tourism Indicators

Tourism Statistics for September 2019

Statistics gathered by Tourism Nova Scotia show Nova Scotia welcomed 233,000 non-resident overnight visitors in September 2019, down 13% compared with September 2018. Visitation by air decreased by 8% while visitation by road decreased by 17%. Hurricane Dorian contributed to the decline in visitation in September.

Year-to-date September 2019, statistics show Nova Scotia welcomed 1,868,000 non-resident overnight visitors, down 4% from 2018. Visitation by road decreased by 2% while visitation by air decreased by 8% compared with 2018.

Licensed accommodation activity includes licensed accommodations purchased by Nova Scotians and non-residents, and people travelling for both tourism and non-tourism reasons. This data does not include any non-licensed accommodations sold through the sharing economy. Accommodations operators across the province report that 317,000 licensed room nights were sold in September, down 2% compared with 2018. The occupancy rate decreased by 3 percentage points to 71%. The Halifax region saw increased room nights sold, while the remaining regions declined compared with 2018.

As of the end of September, operators reported 2,178,000 licensed room nights sold across the province, down 2% compared with the same period in 2018. The occupancy rate decreased by 1 percentage point to 55%. Regionally, Halifax saw an increase in room nights sold year-to-date, while the remaining regions declined compared with 2018.

Data collected by AirDNA shows room nights booked through sharing economy platforms, which includes both licensed and unlicensed accommodations, reached 66,000 in September, an increase of 28% from September 2018. Year-to-date September, room nights booked reached 398,000, an increase of 37%.

Tourism revenues are reported annually.

Overnight visitors to Nova Scotia (September 2019)

Visitor Origin September 2019
Non-resident visitors
Change vs 2018
Canada 176,500 -13% -25,600
Atlantic Canada 78,500 -19% -18,600
Quebec 9,300 -12% -1,300
Ontario 66,100 +5% +3,100
Western Canada 22,400 -28% -8,800
United States 33,900 -13% -4,900
Overseas 12,900 -20% -3,200
Total 223,300 -13% -33,800

Overnight visitors to Nova Scotia (YTD September 2019)

Visitor Origin YTD September 2019 Non-resident visitors Change vs 2018
Canada 1,598,400 -4% -61,800
Atlantic Canada 866,200 -3% -30,000
Quebec 95,100 -6% -6,600
Ontario 483,000 -3% -15,700
Western Canada 154,100 -6% -9,600
United States 200,900 -20% -16,800
Overseas 68,200 -20% -16,800
Total 1,867,600 -4% -83,800


Please see full reports below:

2018 Nova Scotia Tourism Indicators

Tourism Nova Scotia produces an annual report on tourism performance indicators on behalf of Nova Scotia's tourism industry.

2018 was Nova Scotia’s best tourism revenue year on record despite a modest decline in visitation.

Tourism Nova Scotia produces annual estimates of overall tourism revenues, which are updated as new information becomes available. Tourism revenues reached an estimated $2.61 billion in 2018, an increase of 0.3% compared to updated estimates for 2017 of $2.60 billion. For more information about tourism revenues estimates, please see Tourism Revenues.

About 2,413,000 non-resident overnight visitors came to Nova Scotia in 2018, just 0.8 per cent or 19,500 fewer visitors than in 2017, which saw the highest visitation in Nova Scotia’s history.

See the full 2018 Tourism Performance Report.