Higher-spending Visitors Drive Nova Scotia’s Tourism Revenue Growth

2018 was Nova Scotia’s best tourism revenue year on record, with revenues reaching an estimated $2.61 Billion, which is a 0.3 per cent increase compared to updated 2017 revenue estimates of $2.60 billion.

The increase in revenue is despite a small decrease of net visitors to the province, about 0.8 per cent or 19,500 fewer visitors than in 2017, the highest year of visitation in Nova Scotia’s history. In 2018, about 2,413,000 non-resident overnight visitors came to Nova Scotia, representing an overall growth in visitation of 27 per cent, 500,000 more visitors compared with 2013.

“People are coming from farther away and spending more money in our communities.” – Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Business.

2018 visitation highlights, compared to 2017 include:

  • An increase in air visitors, making 2018 the third consecutive year of growth in visitation by air. Air visitors are higher spending visitors.
  • Visitation by road decreased three per cent, or by 49,900 visitors.
  • Visitation from overseas markets grew 15 per cent, or by 13,900 visitors, which marked the fifth straight year of growth in visitation from overseas markets.
  • Licensed room nights sold across the province reached 2.8 million, an increase of one per cent.
  • Room nights booked through a sharing economy platform, including both licensed and unlicensed accommodations, reached approximately 426,000, an increase of 85 per cent

“These results reflect the fantastic work our entire tourism industry is doing to offer experiences that appeal to travellers,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Business. “As a result, people are coming from farther away and spending more money in our communities.”

By 2024, Nova Scotia’s tourism industry hopes to reach $4 billion in tourism revenues, a goal identified by the Ivany Commission in 2014 that the province is working to meet.

“To put it simply, we need to attract higher spending out-of-region visitors to achieve the $4 billion goal,” said Michele Saran, CEO, Tourism Nova Scotia. “That’s the focus of our tourism growth strategy and these results show we’re on the right track.”

Tourism Nova Scotia encourages Nova Scotians to embrace strategic game changing opportunities they have identified to meet the 4 billion dollar goal. These include improving the supply and quality of accommodations for tourists, increasing air capacity from key markets, attracting more visitors from China, addressing labour challenges, extending the tourism season and continued strategic marketing.

For full 2018 tourism results and updated tourism revenue information, visit https://tourismns.ca/research/visitor-statistics/tourism-performance .