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Backgrounder: Tourism

Tourism PEI works in partnership with industry stakeholders to promote Prince Edward Island as a premier destination and to enhance economic benefits through the development and promotion of existing and new quality tourism products and services. Tourism is one of the highest revenue producing industries in the province. More than 960,000 tourists visited the province in 2003 and injected $311 million into the provincial economy.

Program Highlights 2004-2005
A new Tourism Advisory Council was established in November 2004 to work with government to cultivate tourism marketing, research and product development initiatives. During the spring 2004 sitting of the Legislature, the Tourism Industry Act was amended to create the Tourism Advisory Council. The Council's role is to advise the Minister on tourism research, tourism product development and tourism marketing strategies to promote Prince Edward Island's reputation as a premiere tourism destination. From a public policy perspective, this model of cooperation directly involves the stakeholders in the development of the tourism industry.

PEI received four major tourism awards in 2005:
  • Toronto Sun Award as the #1 Golf Destination in North America
  • Ice Award for Marketing
  • Conde Naste Award, as one of the Top Ten Islands in North America
  • Travel and Leisure Award, as the Favourite North American Island

    The New North Cape Coastal Drive was established to increase tourism in coastal and inland communities in Prince County.

    Investments
    Tourism PEI and industry partners introduced improvements that will measure tourism over a 12-month period and identify impacts by both residents and non-residents. The new research platform will allow for a full measurement of the industry and its impact on the economy. The Department currently measures the impacts of the tourism industry over a six month period using a methodology based on the application of Exit Surveys. Under the current research platform the Department is not able to calculate the full impacts of tourism on the provincial economy. From a policy perspective this limits governments ability to fully evaluate return on investment.

    The Department will also be instituting mandatory occupancy reporting which will require accommodation operators to submit occupancy and market origin related data over a twelve- month period. This initiative is supported by the Department, industry and ACOA.

    Budget 2005 includes an additional $1 million for tourism marketing this fiscal year. This represents a 30 per cent increase in the Department of Tourism's marketing budget.

    Cost savings
    Cost savings will be achieved through the closure of some campgrounds, day parks and visitor information centres. These include the Campbell's Cove and Strathgartney campgrounds; the Fisherman's Haven and Victoria day parks; the Brackley Visitor Information Centre and the Poole's Corner Visitor Information Centres. In addition, the department will work with the Summerside Regional Development Corporation to relocate the existing VIC in Summerside to the waterfront.

    These Visitor Information Centres serve a small percentage of the travelling public. In the coming months, the department will undertake a review of all Visitor Information Centres to ensure they are ideally located to meet the needs of the travelling public. As trends change, more and more people seek tourist information through the Internet, our website and the expanded network of Welcome Centres in Island communities.

    Contact:
    Sherry MacDougall
    Department of Tourism
    902 358 5535
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