Tourism industry surges to new heights in September

Heath MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism (left), joins Liam Dolan, Chair of the PEI International Shellfish Festival (centre), and Chef Alain Bossé, at the festival tent this past September.

Accommodation operators, retailers, restaurants, and other businesses throughout Prince Edward Island are benefitting from what could be the third-straight record year for tourism.
The province is well ahead of last year’s record pace for room nights sold, site nights sold at local campgrounds, and airport and bridge traffic according to statistics released today by government and provided by tourism industry.
“The tourism industry has done a tremendous job making September one of the best months to visit Prince Edward Island, and businesses across the Island stand to benefit,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald said.  “When you combine world-class events like Fall Flavours and the International Shellfish festival with our beautiful golf courses, amazing scenery, and one-of-a-kind Island hospitality, you end up with a fantastic month to pay our province a visit.”
Some of the key statistics revealed in the September indicator report include (year-to-date through September compared to 2015):
• Overnight stays – up 11%
• Room nights sold – up 11.1%
• Site nights sold – up 10.7%
• Confederation Bridge – up 11.3%
• Charlottetown Airport – up 14%
• Non-member golf rounds – up 10.5%
• Motor coach visits – up 28.3%
• Provincial heritage sites – up 19%
• Northumberland Ferries – down 14%
• Cruise ships – down 14.7%
The tourism sector contributes over $400 million a year to the provincial economy. Much of that contribution comes from direct spending on tourism activities like lodging, food, and entertainment. However, a significant portion comes from spending on sectors indirectly related to tourism like retail, fuel, and services.
“Since the first record-setting tourism season in 2014, I’ve been able to expand my business seasonally to a location in Cavendish and I’ve seen overall sales grow by approximately 20 per cent,” said Jennifer Ridgway, owner of Luna Eclectic Emporium and Moonsnail Soapworks. “There’s no question the ever-increasing number of visitors to our province is making a direct contribution to my bottom line.”
“In the last three years I’ve been seeing a lot more business from accommodation operators who need their facilities cleaned and turned over for incoming guests,” said Mike Horne, owner of HandyMike, a one-man handyman and cleaning business in Charlottetown. “The growth we’ve seen in the tourism industry has had a big, positive impact on my client base, and I’m getting calls from operators all over the Island.”

“I am incredibly proud of our operators, our industry associations, and department staff for making our Island a top-of-mind destination for visitors,” said Minister MacDonald. “The success we’re seeing this season is a direct result of our collective efforts to make Prince Edward Island one of the best places in the world to take a vacation.”

To see the complete September indicator report, visit the September 2016 Tourism Indicator Report.

Media contact:
Andrew Sprague
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Economic Development and Tourism
(902) 368-5535

General Inquiries

Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
3rd Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-5540
Fax: 902-894-0342