American visitors on the rise
Summer tourism on the South Shore increased this year: operators
According to Tourism Nova Scotia, the summer was another strong season in Nova Scotia.
Statistics published on the Tourism Nova Scotia website show that overnight visits by non-residents went up by nine per cent, compared to statistics from last summer. Specifically, the South Shore reported a four per cent increase in accommodation rooms sold.
Susan Lane, general manager of Lanes Privateer Inn in Liverpool, says that although the season was slow to start, overall it was a good season. August and September are on par with 2016, she says.
Donna Hatt, marketing and product development manager at the White Point Beach Resort, says summer is always a popular season at the beach and this year was no exception.
“As a year-round beach resort, our 2017 continues to build and outperform 2016, which realized growth over the previous year itself,” says Hatt.
For Lane, there was a noticeable increase in the number of American tourists coming by ferry.
White Point Beach Resort also saw an influx of American tourists, with visitors from more than 30 states, primarily from Massachusetts, New York, California and New Hampshire often enjoying the RCI Vacation Club at the resort, says Hatt.
Canadians also continue to be avid beach vacationers, as the resort had an increase this year in guests from Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec and Alberta.
One explanation for the increase in tourism was all the Canada 150th celebrations and free events. Hatt says these events certainly had a positive influence on Canadian tourism.
Building on results
Both Lane and Hatt say there are things those in the tourism industry can do to help increase numbers, not just in the summer season.
For example, Lane says that if businesses lobby for the CAT ferry schedule to change, tourism would also be positively impacted. Currently, Lane says those traveling by CAT ferry arrive in Yarmouth at approximately 9:30 p.m. and depart at 8:30 a.m., meaning Liverpool and other areas of the South Shore is not on the radar to stay overnight.
“Most ferry passengers were just passing through,” says Lane. “We would like to see the schedule changed so that those arriving to Nova Scotia arrive during daylight hours as arriving in a new country in the middle of the night is not very welcoming for our visitors.”
Hatt says the real opportunity as Nova Scotians reach towards the One Nova Scotia goal of doubling tourism will come from the non-peak season. White Point Resort is seeing that growth in the winter months because, as Hatt says, they offer unique experiences that guests enjoy, such as holiday celebrations, a New Year’s polar dip, and March break getaways.
“Celebrating the many dynamic and unique experiences available in Nova Scotia in winter will be a game changer for the tourism sector, rural communities and most importantly for guests who enjoy escaping to connect to themselves, and those who are travelling to be in great settings,” says Hatt.
Tourists look over the beach at White Point Beach Resort.