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Historic service agreement, new milestones highlighted

Discover Halifax released its 2023 Annual Report last week at its Annual General Meeting, highlighting a year of achievements and progress in positioning the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) as the destination of choice for visitors from around the world.

A notable highlight from the year was the development of a historic agreement between HRM and the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia, eight years in the making, which allowed the non-profit to realize major milestones in 2023.

The new agreement increases investment from the municipality, increases revenue to the Special Events Reserve Grant Program administered by HRM, and changes the marketing levy, taking it from two per cent to three per cent, and expanding it to include all registered tourism accommodations.

Other highlights from the 2023 Annual Report include:

  • A 5.4 per cent increase in total overnight rooms sold, surpassing previous records set in 2022. This growth reflects the collective efforts of all stakeholders and partners to make Halifax a top destination for visitors.
  • Solidifying a permanent commitment to market Halifax to national and select international audiences. This sustained effort will raise awareness of our region as a premier destination, attracting new visitors from far and wide.
  • Expanding meetings and conventions sales efforts, allowing investment directly in conferences that occur during months of low demand (November through May), and in areas of strategic importance, such as oceans, life and science, and technology.
  • Establishing a business unit dedicated to festivals and events to further support a vibrant calendar of events in our region, and economic activity, while working collaboratively with industry partners and stakeholders.
  • The creation of destination development services, signifying a strategic investment to enrich the visitor experience, ensure long-term sustainability, and support a community-first approach to growth in the tourism sector.

Quotes from leadership:

Doug Townsend, Chair of the Board of Directors:

"Innovation, sustainability, and collaboration were the building blocks of our success in 2023. Thanks to our key partnerships, which led the way for the new service agreement with HRM, we are positioned to better promote Halifax as a world-class destination on national and international stages."

Ross Jefferson, President and CEO:

"2023 was a banner year for Halifax tourism, and our strategic expansions and marketing efforts have strengthened our destination's profile. We are committed to fostering responsible growth in the industry, preserving Halifax's unique character and authenticity though thoughtful, community-focused planning."

The full 2023 Annual Report is available now.