Tourism sees strong September numbers

Creating jobs for Islanders

Numbers released today by Tourism PEI for September show that 2018 will likely be the fifth straight record season for tourism visitation to the province. 

At Treetop Haven in Albany, owner Sheila Arsenault has had very little time to wind down after a successful summer and fall.

"Prince Edward Island is such a magical place and we have so much to offer our visitors,” Arsenault said. “It is great to keep seeing the increases in visitation every year."

Arsenault’s  uniquely styled resort, featuring geodesic dome units set among the treetops, had a busy summer season and will continue to welcome guests through the winter.

Preliminary estimates prepared by the Department project 1.58 million visitors to the province in 2018 with direct expenditures hovering around $486 million.  It is likely the province will exceed the one million overnight stays for the second year in a row despite small declines in overnight stays through September compared to 2017. 

“Our province continues to punch well above its weight in an incredibly competitive market place thanks to the hard work, quality service, and world famous hospitality demonstrated by tourism operators across the Island,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer said. “We will continue to work with industry to ensure we are putting our best foot forward as we look toward the 2019 season and the potential for further growth.”

Statistics of note include (all year-to-date September):

  • 0.8 per cent increase in traffic on the Confederation Bridge
  • 2.0 per cent increase in traffic at Northumberland Ferries
  • 0.3 per cent decrease in passenger traffic at Charlottetown Airport
  • 10.4 per cent increase in cruise ships
  • 0.5 per cent increase in non-member golf rounds
  • 1.6 per cent decrease in overnight stays

“There could be a number of reasons we are seeing a small decline in overnight stays as compared to overall visitation, including smaller party sizes and shorter lengths of stay,” Minister Palmer added. “And with the record setting cruise ship season, it’s not terribly surprising to see an increase in overall visitation without a corresponding increase in overnight stays. Department staff continue to monitor and examine this developing disparity.”

The report can be found at Prince Edward Island Tourism Indicators.

Tourism is vital for the economic health of our province. The industry employs over 7,700 full time equivalent workers and contributes more than $450 million to the provincial economy every year.

Media contact:
Andrew Sprague
Department of Economic Development and Tourism

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