HALIFAX -- Halifax's boardwalk will look a lot different this year.

There will be no cruise ship passengers dining at restaurants, or visiting local attractions and it will be a big hit to the local economy says Lane Farguson, a spokesman for the Halifax Port Authority.

"The value that it brings to the region was about $165 million give or take last year," Farguson said.

That number is for the Halifax area alone as 203 vessel calls, and 350,000 cruise guests were scheduled to visit the city this year.

It would have been a record-breaking season.

Other ports throughout the Maritimes were also gearing up for one of the biggest seasons to date.

"It really does now allow us to say 'what can we do to make sure that we are in the best possible position for 2021 and really a lot of that is going to be coming together as an industry," Farguson said.

The tourism industry in Nova Scotia brings in about $2.7 billion each year, but amid the pandemic, industry officials project a $1-billion loss.

So, tourism operators are encouraging Maritimers to explore their own region.

"We're not going to recover completely, but we can do what we can do in this trying time and get out and support local businesses and rediscover and fall in love with our province all over again," said Darlene Grant Fiander, the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia president.

One travel agency has already planned a Nova Scotia 'kitchen party get-a-way' for Nova Scotians.

The event in Hubbards, N.S., is almost sold out and will feature local band Ruckus, which hasn't been able to perform for months because of the pandemic.

"It's kind of in a round, in a horseshoe shape, so the band can play in the middle and people can stay by their cottages, in their cabins and keep the social distancing while listening to the band and have a good time and enjoy themselves," said Fred Mack, the vice-president of the agency.