Nova Scotia’s tourism industry showed a strong, steady performance this summer, with a three per cent overall increase in visitors over last summer. Every month of the peak tourism season, June through September, posted numbers comparable to, or slightly better than, last summer. September statistics showed a one per cent increase in the number of visitors and no change in the number of room nights sold over September 2006. “We are pleased to see some growth over last summer and we’re examining our results carefully,” said Bill Dooks, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “We’re working closely with industry through the Tourism Partnership Council to continue rolling out our plan to grow tourism, including a refreshed brand and a new marketing campaign, which we look forward to launching at the tourism industry conference later this month.” Over the key summer months, Nova Scotia welcomed 1,077,900 visitors — 30,400 more visitors than the summer of 2006. The number of room nights sold also increased by 28,000 over last summer, a two per cent increase. Most of the visitors to Nova Scotia this summer — 81 per cent — came from other parts of Canada, with 15 per cent coming from the United States and four per cent from overseas. The number of visitors from the United States continued to decline, a trend that has been observed across Canada. During the summer months, there were 14,700 fewer visitors from the United States. This was offset by an increase of 45,700 visitors from other parts of Canada. About 70 per cent of visitors to Nova Scotia this summer travelled by road, with the remaining 30 per cent arriving by air. Room nights sold across the province varied over the summer months from a 14 per cent increase on the Northumberland Shore to a seven per cent decrease in the Annapolis Valley. “The challenges facing the tourism industry, such as high fuel prices and the rising Canadian dollar, will continue,” said Chris Millier, chair of the Tourism Partnership Council. “In light of these challenges, we’re pleased that we’ve held our own and experienced modest growth. We’ll need to be even more innovative to maintain our market share in an increasingly competitive environment, and I believe we’re headed in the right direction.” Year to date, the province has welcomed 1.7 million visitors, up one per cent over the same period last year. While June to September are the busiest months for tourism in Nova Scotia, fall is historically strong and 2007 is expected to end on par with, or slightly above, 2006. October statistics, revenue projections for 2007, and new marketing activities for 2008 will be presented at the annual Tourism Summit hosted by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia from Nov. 25-27. Nova Scotia’s comprehensive system for reporting tourism statistics includes counting overnight visitors — excluding Nova Scotia residents — at all entry points to the province and gathering the number of room nights sold from all licensed accommodation operators. Detailed tourism statistics can be found on the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage website at www.gov.ns.ca/dtc/pubs/insights .