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Halifax tourism season looks promising, may surpass pre-COVID numbers: tourism operator


Over the years, Halifax has gained the reputation of being a great destination for tourists in the summer.

“I heard so much about Halifax and the seafood to be honest and I just came here to have some alone time, relax time away from the busy life in Toronto,” says Sabrina Rempersaud who is visiting from Ontario.

With plenty of visitors coming to the city, tourism operators have seen an increase in business.

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

The 2024 season has looked promising for those in the tourism business. Campbell thinks his company will surpass pre-COVID numbers and is hopeful wildfires, floods and hurricanes won’t get in the way of business.

“We expected last year to be our first real normal summer, but it was just crazy all the stuff that we dealt with, everyone dealt with,” he says.

“Not only are we up over last year nicely, but we’re actually seeing the fall bookings, the major cruise lines are telling us that it’s the best advanced cruise numbers that they’ve seen for this region ever.”

Events like SailGP and the 38th Halifax Jazz Festival have proven to be successful for bringing people to the region.

“Annually we have over 60,000 folks walking through our doors at all of our different stages across HRM so it’s really a remarkable feat,” says Andrew Jackson, the Halifax Jazz Festival’s artistic director. “We’ve expanded the festival site so people can come in, they walk through our site if they’re walking on the boardwalk, so hopefully they hear our great sounds that were providing and they’ll take a seat and maybe grab a drink.”

People walk on the waterfront in Downtown Halifax. (CTV/Jonathan MacInnis)The region’s current heat wave is keeping some close to the coast to cool off. Some visitors from south of the border say they actually find the temperatures refreshing.

“We get 95 to 100 degrees with 90 per cent humidity, so this is pleasant,” says a couple from Kansas City.

The couple are two of the 3,000 passengers aboard the Emerald Princess docked in Halifax Wednesday.

“I have to say this is the best port that we’ve ever been to. We’ve been on 10 cruises and to be able to walk around the waterfront here and all the activities, the people are extremely friendly. The downtown is right here, this is fantastic.”

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