Meetings, conventions drive record tourism in June
More meetings and conventions coming to the province – and a slate of successful new events – helped Prince Edward Island post record tourism results through June.
The provincial government’s June tourism indicator report released today showed nearly all major categories saw an improvement over last year.
“Our province is gaining quite a reputation as an ideal location for regional, national, and International conventions, with state–of-the-art facilities like the PEI Convention Centre and a strong tourism product across the Island, ” said Meetings and Conventions PEI Executive Director Ann Worth. “The total number of delegates this June increased by almost 13 per cent compared to 2016, and year-to-date numbers for meeting delegates compared to 2016 are pacing at an 18 per cent increase.”
Research from Meetings and Conventions PEI shows almost 50 per cent of all delegates who come here for conventions either arrive early or stay on beyond the convention for an Island vacation experience.
Larger groups that have conducted their recent meetings or conventions in the province include ScotDance Canada, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, and Infection and Prevention Control Canada.
The figures released by the province today show:
• an increase in overnight stays of 2.8 per cent compare to June 2016 (3.6 per cent year-to-date);
• the Confederation Bridge, coming off a record year for non-resident vehicle traffic, posted a 2.7 per cent increase (3.2 per cent year-to-date);
• the Charlottetown Airport saw passenger traffic increase by 9.8 per cent (2.1 percent year-to-date); and
• Northumberland Ferries saw an increase of 15.7 per cent compared to last June (2.1 per cent year-to-date).
One of the strongest increases was in visits to Green Gables, which saw an increase of 26.2 per cent (33.8 percent year to date). Non-member golf rounds saw an increase of 2.7 per cent compared to last June (down 3.1 per cent year to date) and motor coach visits dipped by 17.3 per cent (down 17.1 per cent year to date).
“The numbers we’re seeing through June are a clear indication that the tourism industry is offering a quality product, world class service, and conference facilities that are attractive to visitors,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald said. “Successful new events like the Stompin’ Tom Festival, Bridge Fest and PEI Lobster Fest, combined with existing activities like the Small Halls Festival also played an important role in the success we’ve seen through June.”
Visitation from all of the Island’s major markets saw growth compared to last June including Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces.
Tourism is a vital industry and key driver of economic development in Prince Edward Island that provides over 7,700 direct jobs and contributes approximately $430 million to the provincial economy.
Department of Economic Development and Tourism