Nova Scotia welcomed 1,447,000 visitors from January to August, on par with visits compared with this time last year. In keeping with recent trends, the number of people travelling to Nova Scotia by road, year-to-date, is up eight per cent, while air visitation is down 14 per cent compared with 2008. As of August, room nights sold are down five per cent compared with the same year-to-date period in 2008. In the month of August, 332,900 people visited Nova Scotia. This was a decrease of one per cent, or about 2,600 fewer visitors, compared with August 2008. Road visitation increased by three per cent, while air travel decreased by nine per cent, and room nights sold were down one per cent compared with August 2008. “Our tourism industry is working hard to face the global tourism and economic challenges this year,” said Percy Paris, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “We must continue to provide our visitors with unique experiences to keep them coming back in the future.” To the end of August, domestic travel showed growth of one per cent. Visits from Quebec were on par with year-to-date figures from 2008, while visits from Ontario and other Atlantic provinces were up three and two per cent respectively. Visits from Western Canada have decreased six per cent year-to-date. American visitors to Nova Scotia declined by three per cent year-to-date, while overseas visitors decreased by 10 per cent for the same period. 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/tch/pubs/insights . Statistics for September are expected to be released later in October.