Moving tourism forward

Moving tourism forward

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Ross Jefferson (President and CEO, Discover Halifax)

Prior to 2020, Halifax’s tourism industry was riding a wave of seven consecutive years of growth. The visitor economy was a high-performing and vital economic driver – generating $1.3 billion, with 54% of provincial travellers visiting Halifax. While the last two years have been challenging, the visitor economy has gained momentum in being seen for its power to build economic and social benefits.

As the tourism industry recovers, we have an opportunity to move forward in a smart way — a way that adds value and ensures that the tourism industry is thriving as a community-builder and job generator. Tourism done right makes Halifax a better place for everyone who works, lives, visits, and invests here. Our goal is not to grow simply to extend beyond previous milestones but rather to grow because tourism creates opportunities for our communities and enriches the lives of residents and visitors.

Destination development

Tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries globally, and it is bringing prosperity and opportunities to the communities that are prepared. Before the pandemic, the Halifax tourism industry predicted and prepared for continued growth. We have an opportunity to shape that growth, maximize it, and get the best opportunities from it in a way that takes a community-first approach.

This is a position that many destination marketing organizations have taken in the last decade as tourism saw global growth. Tourism leaders have broadened their scope beyond marketing to include managing the challenges and opportunities of tourism. And this is a path that we, too, are on. Discover Halifax is evolving into a destination management organization to help ensure the best for our region.

Discover Halifax’s ability to evolve would not be possible without the ongoing support of our funding partners: the Halifax Regional Municipality and the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia. This funding greatly enhances our ability to grow and expand the services that will help us define and support the greatest areas of opportunity.

National Tourism Week

By the time this publication goes to print, we will have celebrated this year’s National Tourism Week. Tourism Week is an opportunity for tourism partners to come together to champion and promote Canada’s destinations, tourism businesses, and employees. For the first time in three years, Discover Halifax hosted its annual general meeting and industry session in-person on June 1. The thrill of coming together with our members, community partners, funders and supporters was the perfect occasion to mark National Tourism Week. I firmly believe that we have weathered the storm over the last two years because of collaboration. Being in a room with many of our partners and members was a reminder.

Halifax is an enviable city for many reasons, including the deep passion and desire from multiple stakeholders to work together to better our region. There is a collective understanding that when we come together, good things can happen.

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