January 30, 2018 (Halifax, NS) – 2017 marks Halifax’s fifth year of tourism growth with room nights sold up 5.8% over 2016 and 23.3% since 2012. Halifax is also #4 on TripAdvisor’s Global “Top Destinations on the Rise” list, an award based on increased interest, booking activity and positive traveller reviews. More tourists aren’t just coming to Halifax, but are recommending the city online.
“Halifax has been many travellers’ best kept secret, but that is no longer the case,” said Ross Jefferson, President and CEO at Discover Halifax. “More people are taking notice of our stand-out restaurants, accommodations, attractions, events, shopping and outdoor activities. And when they do come, people and businesses are going over and above to exceed their expectations.”
The 5.8% increase amounts to over 1.5 million total room nights sold in 2017. The Port of Halifax also had a record year in cruise ship passengers, up 23% to 292,722 and the Halifax Stanfield International Airport welcomed over 4 million passengers, a 4.5% increase over 2016.
Jefferson believes many factors coming together at the perfect time, combined with the industry’s hard work led to increased tourism activity. “Canada’s 150th birthday shone a global spotlight on our country in 2017, but Halifax had some unique exposure with several high-profile events such as Rendez-Vous Canada Tall Ships Regatta, extensive media coverage of the 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion and the release of Maudie and a large influx of new investment including the new Discovery Centre and IKEA, attracting both locals and visitors. 2017 was also a banner year for meetings and conventions in Halifax with over 26,000 delegates attending some of the largest conferences in the country.”
Discover Halifax also increased its advertising budget last year thanks to key strategic partnerships, helping drive a 38% increase in website traffic to discoverhalifaxns.com, which received 1,350,000 visits.
“The trick now will be to maintain momentum into 2018,” said Erica Pellerin, VP of Marketing and Visitor Experience at Discover Halifax. “2018 is shaping up to be another big year and we wanted to get the word out early.”
Discover Halifax kicked off the year with a “Top 10 in 2018” campaign, showcasing 10 reasons to visit Halifax:
- Savour Food & Wine Festival
- East Coast Music Awards
- Route Saint-Pierre et Miquelon
- 40th Anniversary: The Royal International Nova Scotia Tattoo
- Explore the Peggy’s Cove Region
- The Great Race
- 90th Anniversary: The opening of the Pier 21 Port of Immigration
- Hike the Halifax Region’s Trails
- Trendy North End Halifax
- Halifax Holiday Shopping
Another campaign launched this week to celebrate Halifax’s TripAdvisor “Top Destinations on the Rise” award. “See What All The Love Is About” thanks TripAdvisor reviewers and the amazing local businesses who inspired the review. As the only Canadian city listed, Halifax is sharing the love – including bringing one lucky reviewer back to the city.
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About Discover Halifax
Discover Halifax is a non-profit, membership-based marketing and sales organization in partnership with the Halifax regional government, the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia and participating industry members. Since its inception in 2002, Discover Halifax’s goal is to promote Halifax as a destination of choice for leisure and business travellers.
Halifax welcomes 5.3 million overnight stays each year, who spend $1 billion. Halifax alone represents over 54% of all visitation to Nova Scotia, and 24,000 Nova Scotians are employed by the tourism industry.