Island’s 2017 tourism set to break records again
Creating jobs for Islanders -
The 2017 tourism season proved once again the vital importance of the industry to the provincial economy, employment, and local entrepreneurs.
Figures released today by Tourism PEI project record spending and visitation for the fourth straight year. More than 1.5 million visitors spent $447 million, which represents increases in visitation of 5 percent and in spending of 3.3 percent.
“The momentum we’re seeing in the tourism industry is surprising to many people and it speaks volumes about the incredible work of operators, industry groups and everyday Islanders to make our province a world-class tourism destination,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald said. “But this is no time to rest on our laurels. To keep this industry sustainable well into the future we have to keep doing what makes this Island and its tourism industry mighty – help each other out, work hard, and follow our dreams.”
Virtually every sector of the industry and region of the province saw improvements over 2016. Some of the most impressive increases were in site nights sold at campgrounds, visitation at museum and heritage sites, and admissions to the Prince Edward Island National Park. For the first time ever, the province will likely surpass 1 million overnight stays before the end of the year.
To help sustain the record-breaking momentum in tourism, the provincial government and industry are collaborating to develop new products, cultivate emerging markets, and examine new ways of managing and overseeing the industry.
Much of that work follows recommendations in Vision 2021, the five-year strategy for tourism released by the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island (TIAPEI) in 2016.
“Government has been very responsive to the recommendations in the strategy document and has worked very closely with industry through the whole process,” TIAPEI chair Robert Jourdain said. “We’re seeing the emergence of new experiential, culinary, aboriginal and soft adventure products, and we’re encouraged by the province’s efforts to better align the management activities across the industry to increase collaboration and reduce duplication of effort.”