Nova Scotia welcomed 2,113,500 visitors in 2011. The provincial results are on par with 2010 and vary by region.International visitors to Nova Scotia increased one per cent in 2011 compared with 2010. International visitors to Canada decreased one per cent in the same time period. “Our tourism indicators showed some positive results for the final months of 2011,” said Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. “We are working with our industry partners, through the new Nova Scotia Tourism Agency, to create a long-term strategy for tourism that will promote innovation and competitiveness as part of government’s jobsHere plan to grow our economy.” Room nights sold between January and December were down by one per cent. Air travel was up by nine per cent this year, and road travel decreased by four per cent. Motorcoach traffic increased by 35 per cent, compared with the 2010 season. Visits from the United States decreased three per cent. Domestic travel to the province was down one per cent. Visits from Quebec increased by eight per cent and visits from Western Canada were up five per cent. Visits from Ontario fell by one per cent, while visits from Atlantic Canada decreased by three per cent. Total overseas visits were up 12 per cent for the year. Results for Germany were up 26 per cent, while visits from the United Kingdom were down 11 per cent. 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 gathering the number of room nights sold from licensed accommodation operators. Tourism is an important contributor to Nova Scotia’s economy. In 2008, the industry directly employed more than 22,000 people and generated revenues of $1.82 billion.
GENEVA — Countries have agreed to protect more than a dozen shark species at risk of extinction, in a move aimed at conserving some of the ocean’s most awe-inspiring creatures who have themselves become prey to commercial fishing and the Chinese appetite for shark fin soup.Three proposals covering the international trade of 18 types of mako sharks, wedgefishes and guitarfishes each passed with a needed two-thirds majority in a committee of the World Wildlife Conference known as CITES on Sunday.The move isn’t final but is a key sign before an official decision at its plenary this week.Conservationists applauded and exchanged hugs after the tallies. Opponents variously included China, Iceland, Japan, Malaysia and New Zealand. The U.S. voted against the mako shark measure, but supported the other two.The Associated Press