Nova Scotia continues to show overall gains in its tourism numbers, welcoming more than 1,700,000 visitors in the first nine months of the year, up two per cent compared to 2009. “We are pleased to see an increase in the overall number of visitors coming to the province and that reflects the hard work of our tourism operators, delivering top-notch experiences in every region,” said Percy Paris, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “We will continue to work with our partners to build the tourism industry in Nova Scotia, so it creates good jobs that grow our economy.” In September, the number of visitors decreased by three per cent compared to last year. Room nights sold in the province were up three per cent in September, and remained on par year to date. Road travel to Nova Scotia increased by three per cent in the first nine months of the year, but fell by four per cent in September. Air travel is down one per cent in the month, and has decreased by two per cent year to date. Cruise ship passenger visits to the province grew significantly this year with Halifax seeing a 22 per cent increase over last year while Cape Breton is up 15 per cent to the end of September. Nova Scotia campgrounds experienced a two per cent increase in total site nights sold year to date. Visitors arriving in recreational vehicles were also up this year, increasing 13 per cent to the end of September. Between January and September, overall domestic travel to the province showed two per cent growth. Visits from Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario are up three per cent, while visitors from Western Canada are down seven per cent during the first nine months. Visits from Germany are up five per cent, while United Kingdom visits fell eight per cent and total overseas visitors decreased eight per cent year to date. Visits from the United States are down two per cent during the same time period. Tourism statistics vary across the province. Detailed results can be found on the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage website at www.gov.ns.ca/tch/tourism/facts-figures.aspx. Nova Scotia’s comprehensive system for reporting monthly tourism statistics includes counting non-resident overnight visitors at all entry points to the province and gathers the number of room nights sold from licensed accommodation operators. Cruise ship passengers are not counted as overnight stays and are not included in overall visitor numbers. Tourism is an important contributor to Nova Scotia’s economy. In 2008, the industry employed over 31,000 people and generated revenues of $1.82 billion.