Operators anticipate big tourism season

These days Karen Milligan is busy preparing the rooms and grounds at The Inn at St Peters for a 2017 tourism season that promises to beat the record set at her operation last year.

Operators like Milligan from across the province are reporting increased bookings compared to 2016, when overnight stays reached a record number for the third year in a row.

“We are ahead of our pre-bookings compared to this time last year and we are anticipating another very busy season in St Peters,” Milligan said. “There is a lot of momentum in the tourism industry right now thanks to the great product we have here on the Island.”

In the western part of the province early results are also showing positive signs for the season to come.

“We are up about 225 pre-booked rooms compared to this time last year,” West Point Lighthouse Manager Scott Smith said. “We had our busiest season ever in 2016 so to see these kinds of numbers ahead of the start of this season is incredibly encouraging.”

And it’s not only accommodations that are seeing impressive increases in pre-bookings.

“We are up nearly 40 per cent in pre-booked rounds and packages compared to where we were this time last year,” Executive Director of Golf PEI Mark McLane said. “Our new and improved booking experience on our site has certainly contributed to this and we are excited that many of our courses are already open which should contribute even more to our busy spring golf vacation bookings. With bookings at this pace, we suggest groups contact us a little earlier than usual.”

“The upward momentum we’re seeing in this industry is a direct result of our innovative and business-savvy operators who work hard to develop quality tourism products, services, and lodging,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald said. “They personify what makes Prince Edward Island mighty – that we do so many things well relative to our size.

“The results we’ve seen the last three years speak for themselves and I look forward to another busy season in 2017.”

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.

Media contact:

Andrew Sprague
Department of Economic Development and Tourism

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