Nova Scotia welcomed 30,600 more visitors in the first nine months of 2012, compared to the same time in 2011, an increase of two per cent. “We are very happy with the results so far and are working to become even more competitive in the global tourism market,” said Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. “Through the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency, we are taking a new approach to tourism and collaborating with industry on a long-term strategy to continue to build tourism and grow the provincial economy.” “The industry continues to show its resilience as an economic driver for the province,” said Darlene Grant Fiander, president of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. “We are looking forward to the new direction for 2013 that will bring a renewed focus on sector growth.” Year-to-date, road travel to the province increased by five per cent, while air travel was down four per cent compared to last year. For the first nine months of the year, domestic travel to the province was up two per cent. Visits from Atlantic Canada increased by five per cent, visits from Ontario were up three per cent, and visits from Quebec decreased 10 per cent. Visits from western Canada decreased by seven per cent. Outside Canada, total overseas visits were up two per cent so far this year. Results for the U.K. were up 17 per cent while visits from Germany were down 23 per cent. Visits from the United States to Nova Scotia were down two per cent. Room nights sold in the province were down by two per cent year to date. Tourism statistics vary across the province. Detailed results can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/econ/tourism/research/latest-activity-updates.asp. Nova Scotia’s comprehensive system for reporting monthly tourism statistics includes counting non-resident overnight visitors at entry points to the province and gathers the number of room nights sold from licensed accommodation operators. Tourism is an important contributor to Nova Scotia’s economy. In 2008, the industry employed more than 22,000 people and generated revenues of $1.82 billion.
“We are still waiting for the final draft of the resolution, but we intend to vote in favour of the resolution,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said in the Lok Sabha.Speaking on the issue of alleged war crimes and Tamils in Sri Lanka, Manmohan Singh said, “India has stressed on reconciliation and healing the wounds of the Lanka Tamils. We have asked Lanka govt to stress on meaningful devolution of power.” The Prime Minister had on Monday said that the government intended to vote in favour of the US-led resolution against Sri lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), but the final draft of the resolution was awaited. Krishna said that the Indian government could not ignore Tamils sentiment voiced in Parliament. Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Gamini Peiris on Tuesday called up his Indian counterpart S M Krishna over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement that India might vote in support of the US-backed resolution.The Lankan Foreign Minister asked India to reconsider its decision to vote against Sri Lanka. The country, however, promised a fair inquiry into the allegations regarding war crimes. The Prime Minister had also claimed that normalcy was returning to the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka.DMK chief Karunanidhi welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement and said, “I welcome the Prime Minister’s statement. We will wait to see the final decision.” He also announced that the DMK will fast on March 22 for Sri Lankan Tamils.The DMK and the AIADMK had been stepping up pressure on the Centre to vote in favour of the resolution and take a strong stand against Sri Lanka. (Ibn Live)