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Tourism Revenues

Tourism Nova Scotia produces annual estimates of tourism revenues, which are updated as new information becomes available.

Tourism revenues are a measure of the economic impact of tourism. They include all tourism-related spending within Nova Scotia by non-resident visitors and Nova Scotians travelling within the province. Spending includes categories such as accommodations, transportation, food and beverage, cultural services, recreation and entertainment, and travel agency and other reservation services.

Click the links below to read more about tourism revenues in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Tourism Revenues

Tourism is a significant economic activity in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia saw its highest level of tourism revenues in 2017, coinciding with Canada 150 celebrations. Tourism revenues reached $2.8 billion in 2017. In 2019, the last year before the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism activity in Nova Scotia generated $2.6 billion in tourism spending in Nova Scotia.

Bar graph showing annual tourism revenues estimates from 2010-2019.

The preliminary estimates of tourism revenues for 2020 and 2021 are about $1 billion, a decline of $1.6 billion compared with 2019.  The decline in tourism revenues demonstrates the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism in 2020. Tables will be updated when estimates are finalized.

Resident vs Non-resident Tourism Revenues

Depending on the year, spending by Nova Scotians has accounted for about 35%-45% of overall tourism revenues for Nova Scotia. 


Bar graph showing annual tourism revenues from 2010-2019 with spending in each year broken down by resident vs non-resident spending.


*2011: The Travel Survey of Residents of Canada was updated in 2011. Tourism revenues generated by Nova Scotians are affected by the updated survey and should not be compared with earlier years. Tourism revenues from non-residents are not affected.

**2018: Statistics Canada introduced two new travel surveys in 2018, the National Travel Survey and the Visitor Travel Survey. Tourism revenues generated by Nova Scotians are affected by the updated surveys and should not be compared to earlier years.

Breakdown of 2019 Tourism Revenues by Category

Tourism spending benefits many different types of businesses in Nova Scotia. Notably, transportation is the largest category, reflecting travel to and from Nova Scotia, as well as travel within the province by visitors.


Bar graph showing 2019 tourism revenues broken down by spending categories.



How Revenues are Calculated

To develop tourism revenues estimates, Tourism Nova Scotia uses information from its visitation estimates, as well as information from several surveys, including the National Travel Survey (formerly the Travel Survey of Residents of Canada), the Visitor Travel Survey (formerly the International Travel Survey), the Economic Contribution of the Cruise Industry in Canada, and the Tourism Nova Scotia Visitor Exit Survey.