As people pour into Halifax for the Tall Ships Festival, retailers are saying they’re happy with the economic boost.

Restaurateur Todd Abbass says the Tall Ships Festival is an exciting time for businesses on the waterfront.

“It's absolutely fantastic every time the tall ships come," says Abass. "Everybody’s so excited and the staff and the people are so thrilled. We just hope that as part of this big event that we can accommodate and please everyone.”

Atlantic Director of the Retail Council of Canada, Jim Cormier, says the festival is an opportunity for large and small businesses to attract attention.

“Retailers of all sizes, they're excited about the prospects of possibly hundreds of thousands of people coming in for the tall ships,” says Cormier.

Between anticipated large crowds, street closures and ongoing construction, police say it could be taxing to get around on the waterfront for the next four days.

Police are warning the public to be patient and plan their travels ahead of time. Officers say they have increased security on both the land and on the water this year.

"You'll see extra police officers on the Dartmouth waterfront, the Halifax waterfront and in the harbour so we're expecting visitors and residents to partake and we're looking forward to ensuring a safe event for everybody,” says Staff Sgt. Scott MacDonald of Halifax Regional Police.

New attractions at the festival this year include a free breakfast in Grand Parade on July 31, where volunteers will be collecting donations to fill pantry shelves at Feed Nova Scotia.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Marie Adsett.