Tourism operators across Prince Edward Island benefitting from record August

A record August for tourism helped increase overnight stays in every region of Prince Edward Island.

From tip to tip there were increases compared to August 2015 in both room nights sold and site nights sold at local campgrounds, according to statistics released today from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

“Operators from one end of the Island to the other are reporting impressive increases in the number of visitors who stayed overnight in August,” Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Heath MacDonald said. “I’m very optimistic that the strong numbers will continue into September with world-class events like Fall Flavours and the PEI International Shellfish Festival, which once again saw record crowds.

“I am very proud of the tourism industry and all the hard work it’s done to attract more and more visitors to Prince Edward Island,” the minister said.

Overnight stays increased 7.6 per cent month-over-month compared to last August. That helped increase overnight stays by 11 per cent year-to-date compared to 2015. Overnight stays are calculated by adding the number of room nights sold at roofed accommodations and the number of site nights sold at local campgrounds.

Major increases in overnight stays from the Quebec, Ontario, United States and New Brunswick markets helped drive the numbers up compared to last August. The largest increases were in the Quebec market with a 19.4 per cent increase in overnight stays year-to-date, and a 19.6 per cent increase compared to last August.

The Confederation Bridge reports an 11 per cent increase year-to-date, and a 9.4 per cent increase compared to last August. The Charlottetown Airport saw a 13.9 percent increase year-to-date and a 7.5 per cent increase over August last year.

Northumberland Ferries saw numbers slip, with a 22 per cent decrease compared to last August and a 12.3 per cent decrease year-to-date – which underscored the need for ferry service to return to full capacity.

All six touring regions reported increases in both site nights sold and room nights sold compared to August of last year. And only one area, Summerside, is reporting a decrease in overnight stays year-to-date. Points East Coastal Drive saw year-to-date increases of 10.8 per cent for room nights sold, and a 13.8 per cent increase in site nights sold.

“We are really pleased to see double-digit increases in camping and roofed accommodations in our region,” said Patsy Gotell, executive director of Points East Coastal Drive which includes communities like Montague, Murray River and Souris. “Attractions like the Inn at Bay Fortune and Michael Smith’s restaurant Fireworks -- and events like St Peters Blueberry Festival -- did a tremendous job driving visitation to our part of the Island.”

Tourism indicators are provided to the province by individual tourism stakeholders and are compiled by staff in the Department of Economic Development and Tourism. To see more, visit August 2016 Tourism Indicators .

Tourism is a vital industry and key driver of economic development in Prince Edward Island, providing more than 7,700 direct jobs and contributes approximately $400 million in economic activity to provincial economy.

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
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105 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

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