August 11, 2023
Written by Paul MacKinnon
Following the very successful launch of our State of the Downtown report, DHBC is dedicated to keeping our members, and stakeholders abreast of key vibrancy metrics for Downtown.
With that in mind, DHBC started purchasing cell phone data from a company called Environics, and four times a year they send us the latest visitation data that tracks total "visits" on a weekly basis and matches it to our BID boundary.
2023 Q2 (April, May and June)
- There was a total reduction of 5.42% in total visitation April-June 2023 vs the same period in 2022.
- Broken down by month, we had a 9% increase in April, followed by a 13% decrease in May and an 8% decrease in June.
My commentary/analysis - June is not a surprise, given the weather and the impact of the wildfires (which resulted in significant cancelled tourism) but May is a bit of a mystery since we had several big events happening Downtown that month, including ECMA.
The other main tracking we monitor is the pedestrian (“footfall”) analysis out of the University of Toronto, also monitored through cell phone tracking.
- As of June 2023, Downtown Halifax has consistently had the second-best recovery (compared to 2019) of any large Canadian city, at 66%. This was down from a peak of 74% in February 2023.