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Tour operators in Halifax say season looks promising and could surpass pre-COVID numbers

Tour operators in Halifax say season looks promising and could surpass pre-COVID numbers
Tour operators in Halifax say season looks promising and could surpass pre-COVID numbers

Over the years, Halifax has built a reputation as a great summer tourist destination.

“I honestly heard so much about Halifax and the seafood, but I just came here to have some time for myself, to relax, away from the busy life in Toronto,” said Sabrina Rempersaud, visiting from Ontario.

Due to the large number of tourists coming to the city, tour operators are seeing an increase in business.

“We’ve had to add more Harbour Hopper tours,” says Dennis Campbell, CEO of Ambassatours, a Halifax-based travel company.

The 2024 season looks promising for those in the tourism industry. Campbell believes his business will surpass pre-COVID numbers and hopes wildfires, floods and hurricanes don’t derail business.

“We expected last year to be our first real normal summer, but it was just insane how many problems we had, that everyone had to deal with,” he says.

“Not only are we up significantly from last year, but we are actually seeing the fall bookings. The major cruise lines are telling us that these are the best advanced cruise numbers they have ever seen for this region.”

Events such as SailGP and the 38th Halifax Jazz Festival have proven successful in attracting people to the region.

“We have over 60,000 people walk through our doors each year across all of our different stages in HRM, so it’s really a remarkable achievement,” said Andrew Jackson, Artistic Director of the Halifax Jazz Festival. “We’ve expanded the festival area so people can come in, they’re walking through our area as they walk down the promenade, so hopefully they’ll hear the great sounds that we’ve provided and sit down and maybe grab a drink.”

People walk along the waterfront in Downtown Halifax. (CTV/Jonathan MacInnis)The current heatwave in the region has some people staying close to the coast to cool off, while some visitors from south of the border say they find the temperatures refreshing.

“It’s 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit here with 90 percent humidity, so it’s nice,” said a couple from Kansas City.

The couple are among 3,000 passengers aboard the Emerald Princess, which was docked in Halifax on Wednesday.

“I have to say this is the best port we’ve ever been to. We’ve been on 10 cruises and to be able to walk along the waterfront and do all the activities, the people are incredibly friendly. The city centre is here, it’s fantastic.”

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