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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, in 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

As of April 2020, final estimates are available for 2016 and 2017, an updated estimate is available for 2018, and a preliminary estimate is available for 2019 and 2020. 

The preliminary estimate of tourism revenues for 2019 is $2.64 billion, a decline of 3.3% compared with updated estimates for 2018 of $2.73 billion. The decline in tourism revenues is reflective of the decline in non-resident visitation to Nova Scotia in 2019. Three external events contributed to the decline: 1) the grounding of the Boeing MAX aircraft resulted in a significant decline in air capacity from overseas markets, as well as a decline in domestic air capacity; 2) the Maine-Nova Scotia ferry did not operate in 2019; and 3) Hurricane Dorian contributed to a significant decline in visitation in September 2019.

The preliminary estimate of tourism revenues for 2020 is $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. However, Tourism Nova Scotia’s research shows that growth in tourism revenues is largely dependent on growth in tourism revenues generated by non-resident visitors.




*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



Sports, culture and entertainment


Vehicle rental and local transport




Vehicle operations














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.