Nova Scotia's August tourism numbers are best ever for province
Almost 400,000 people came to the province during the month
Some businesses in the Halifax area say the hot Nova Scotia summer was a boon for tourism.
"It was fantastic. We had almost no rain days all summer ... the drought was definitely good for business on the beer garden front," said Chris Reynolds, the co-owner of Stillwell, a Halifax bar that also runs a beer garden on Spring Garden Road.
Reynolds said there were only a few days all summer when the beer garden shut down due to rain, compared to last year when poor weather at one point closed it for 11 straight days.
A record-breaking August
Reynolds's satisfaction is borne out in numbers. The Nova Scotia government says August was a record month for tourism with almost 400,000 visitors coming to the province, a seven per cent increase from August 2015.
Terri McCulloch, a manager with Ambassatours Gray Line and Murphy's The Cable Wharf, says tourists always gravitate toward the waterfront, but when the weather is hot, locals flock there as well because it tends to be cooler.
"This year, where we had such hot temperatures for so many days, even a few degrees cooler when it's in the 30s, if you can get it down to the high 20s, it's a little more comfortable," she said.
The impact of The Cat
The number of room nights sold in the province (372,000) was an increase of four per cent over August 2015.
In the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores region, the number of room nights sold in August was up 10 per cent over the year prior.
That coincides with the new schedule for the ferry that runs between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine.
This year, The Cat arrived at night, so people often stayed in town for the night. As well, the boat left early in the morning and passengers would often stay in Yarmouth the night before their ferry departed.
Last year, the Nova Star arrived in Yarmouth in the morning and left shortly thereafter.
Of the 397,700 visitors to Nova Scotia in August, the province said most were Canadian (331,000), followed by Americans (51,800) and people from overseas (14,900).