Sip and Taste Tours Crush Visitor Records
The heat and humidity aren’t the only record breakers from the summer of 2018. Sip and Taste Tours is reporting a twenty percent increase in tours for its two companies, Grape Escapes Nova Scotia Wine Tours and Taste Halifax. This season also marked an increase in the number of tours the company offered to the public each week.
“It has certainly been a milestone season,” says Sip and Taste Tour Owner/Operator Susan Downey-Lim. “From the unbelievably beautiful weather to a substantial uptick in tours, 2018 will definitely go down as a summer to remember.”
Sip and Taste Tours isn’t the only one to notice an increase in visitors to the Annapolis Valley. The owners of Lightfoot and Wolfville were floored by the sheer number of people to enter the winery during their inaugural season. They welcomed more than one hundred and fifty thousand visitors to the winery, tripling visitation goals.
“It’s surreal. We’re tired. We’re proud,” says Owner Michael Lightfoot. “Legitimately, we’re overwhelmed with the support we’ve been given by tour companies, neighbours, colleagues in the industry, other wineries, government agencies, the list goes on and on.”
The increase reflects what many tourism operators are calling “an outstanding summer season.” However, according to Tourism Nova Scotia, peak season visitation was actually down two percent. Bear in mind, the record-breaking season of 2017 included the ever-popular Tall Ships Festival and Canada 150 celebrations. When compared to statistics from 2016, visitation was up eight percent.
“This has been a great year, but it will take more hard work and everyone working together to reach the industry’s ambitious goal of $4 billion in tourism revenues by 2024,” said Michele Saran, CEO, Tourism Nova Scotia.
While the numbers are impressive, Downey-Lim says she prefers customer satisfaction as a measure of success.
“When we see our guests with huge smiles on their faces at the end of a great afternoon in Nova Scotia wine country, we know we’re doing a good job,” reflects Downey-Lim. “It’s all about giving visitors an experience they’ll never forget so they spread the word and keep coming back season after season.”