Climate Change and Island Tourism

Climate change can affect how our visitors see our province

Climate Change and Island Tourism

Tourism is an important industry within Prince Edward Island, and many visitor activities are influenced by weather and climate.  The longer, warmer summers expected with climate change may have a positive impact on visitation.  The number of days suitable for golfing, biking, hiking, or camping are likely to increase.  Opportunities will exist to expand tourist activity around these pursuits.  For people in areas likely to experience a much more rapid warming than PEI (central North America and western Europe), our province may provide a somewhat cooler, more comfortable spot to vacation or enjoy a summer residence.

Today, many visitors delight in seeing and photographing PEI’s potato fields, especially when the plants are covered in white or purple blossoms.  Over the past decade, a number of vineyards have come into production and several wineries have been established.  A warming climate may bring even more vineyards and, potentially, may support a major tourist industry around the production of wines. 

PEI may also experience a boom in ‘local’ tourism.  As we begin to experience longer periods of warm summer weather, fewer Island residents may travel to southern destinations.

How will climate change affect PEI’s coasts?

Prince Edward Island National Park and many of the provincial parks focus heavily on the coastal environment.  A rising sea level, increased shoreline erosion, greater storm activity, and a narrowing or coarsening of Island beaches may not be well received by visitors or Islanders.  Damage to coastal homes, cottages, roadways, and other infrastructure is also likely to be a greater concern as we approach the next century.

How will climate change affect winter recreation?

Most winter recreation on PEI centres around snow.  As we move toward 2100, we can expect milder winters, less snowfall, and shorter periods of time with snow on the ground.  Conditions suitable for cross-country and downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are likely to be severely restricted. They may even become non-existent.

Who can I contact for more information?

Erin Taylor (Manager, Climate Change and Agriculture Outreach)
Jones Building, 4th Floor
11 Kent Street
Charlottetown, PEI  C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-6111
Fax: (902) 368-5830

Published date: 
July 7, 2016
Environment, Energy and Climate Action

General Inquiries

Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action
4th Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-5044
Toll-free: 1-866-368-5044
Fax: 902-368-5830
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