Tourism in Halifax received a much-needed boost Thursday as five cruise ships arrived and dropped off approximately 11,000 passengers on the waterfront for the day.

The record number cruise ship passengers in Halifax for the day brought the total number of visitors to Halifax since Labour Day to 80,000.

The ships included the the Carnival Triumph, Crown Princess, GTS Constellation, Jewel of the Seas, and AIDAaura.

Passengers lined up for tour buses to take them to nearby tourist attractions such as Peggy’s Cove. Others browsed for souvenirs at Pavilion 22 at the Port of Halifax.

Stephen and Maria Salon spent their 25th wedding anniversary shopping for items such as T-shirts and jewelry at the pavilion.

"Maybe some of that fudge that I saw in the back," Maria Salon told CBC News on Thursday. "That looked good," she said, laughing.

Local vendor Lisa Risley said business was slow until the beginning of September. She has been selling tartans to cruise ship passengers for the past five years.

"It’s been a different year," Risley told CBC News. "We’ve really started to feel the effects of the American economy. But September and October have certainly started to prove that things are changing around, thank goodness," she said.

Cathy McGrail, manager of cruise development for the Halifax Port Authority, said there has been a slight drop in visitors to Halifax during this year's tourism season. The economic troubles in the U.S. could be the reason for the decline, she said.

However, McGrail said the situation could change as early as next year.

"Certainly, all forecasts are showing us that there is continued growth," McGrail said. "Obviously, maybe not at the same levels as we've seen in the last number of years but we are expecting growth and at least, some modest growth over the next three to five years," she said.