HALIFAX - The number of tourists visiting Nova Scotia jumped by five per cent in the first six months of the year.

The province's Tourism Department says road travel to the province increased by 10 per cent while air travel dropped two per cent, compared with the same period last year.

The number of visitors from other parts of Atlantic Canada increased by seven per cent, and visits from Ontario were up six per cent.

However, visits from Quebec decreased by one per cent and visits from Western Canada decreased by five per cent.

Visits from the United States were up eight per cent, but overseas visits slipped by eight per cent.

The numbers are important because tourism is a big business in Nova Scotia — in 2008, the industry employed more than 22,000 people and generated revenues of $1.8 billion.

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