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March 8, 2007
For immediate release

Federal and Provincial Governments Invest in New Tourism Program to Create Higher Standards for Tourism Operators


The Tourism Industry Association of PEI (TIAPEI), with the support of Canada’s New Government, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (Tourism Atlantic-ACOA), and the PEI Department of Tourism, is launching an innovative market readiness program for PEI’s tourism industry.

Total Market Readiness provides professional support and facilitation to help tourism businesses focus their developmental activities, prioritize their investments, enhance overall business skills, and deliver consistent exemplary guest experiences.

“Canada’s New Government is getting things done for PEI’s tourist industry,” said Rob Moore, MP for Fundy-Royal, on behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “This investment of $150,000 will help ensure a professional, high-quality experience for tourists, and will help operators adopt more innovative ways to run and market their businesses.”

TIAPEI has taken the initiative to develop a program that can ensure a broad level of quality assurance, enhanced product delivery and, cooperative activities among small tourism operators.

"Tourism PEI is pleased to partner with TIAPEI and the tourism industry on this Total Market Readiness project," noted Honourable Philip Brown, Minister of Tourism. "This is an opportunity for tourism operators to update their business practices and to support long-term sustainability within the industry. As our operators continue to compete with tourism destinations around the world, it is important that Prince Edward Island's reputation for quality tourism is supported by the highest standards of product and service."

The core components of the program include: product mentoring sessions; professional mystery shopping; and marketing mentoring sessions. Throughout the program, benchmarks for measuring the quality of the tourism experience with each business are used to inspire both short and long-term improvements.

“As tourism becomes more global, our visitor’s expectations become more demanding,” said Judy MacDonald, President of TIAPEI. “In order for PEI to thrive in tourism we must embrace opportunities to create experiences with the highest possible standards.”

The program will be offered one-on-one to the tourism industry Island-wide over a two-year period, commencing this spring. Applications are available on the TIAPEI website, Operators will be encouraged to apply for the program as space is limited and applications will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis. Operators who successfully complete the program will be recognized with the marketing designation, Genuine Island Host.

The Total Market Readiness program concept was originally designed as part of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Product Club program. The program has been successfully delivered to over 80 tourism operators throughout Atlantic Canada.

The program’s originators have been contracted by TIAPEI to custom design and monitor the success of the program in PEI. 2rism Strategies Inc. of Charlottetown has been hired to assist with overseeing implementation and continuation of the program in PEI over the next 18 months.

ACOA will contribute $150,000 toward the project through its Business Development Program. The PEI Department of Tourism will provide a $50,000 contribution. Tourism operators will pay $750 to complete the program.

Media Contact: Sherry MacDougall
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