July 27, 2007
For immediate release
“Cyclists Welcome” Program Now Offered By Tourism Operators Across Prince Edward Island
Quality Tourism Services (QTS) worked closely with Tourism PEI to create a program that is designed to allow any tourism operator to participate by complying with a simple list of criteria. QTS is an independent, non-profit incorporated company which provides a combined inspection/rating service to Island tourism establishments. QTS works to ensure nationally-accepted standards of product and service are available on the Island for the travelling public. It also provides services and assistance to operators in maintaining/improving their businesses.
Consultation was done with avid local cyclists, cycling tour operators, Cycling PEI, Tour de PEI organizers, rental operators, and tourism operators. Resulting criteria ensure that cyclists’ needs are met and operators whether retail, craft, restaurant or accommodation, will identify participation with the use of a cycling symbol and on-property signage.
David Thompson, QTS Board member, was the impetus behind the creation of the program. David and his wife Michelle of Dalvay by the Sea are both avid cyclists and have cycled in many parts of North America and recognized the need for more emphasis on developing this growing market. The Thompsons themselves operate a cycle rental business from Dalvay by the Sea. “I feel this is a huge step forward for the tourism industry in Prince Edward Island,” said David Thompson. “Ours will be the only province other than Quebec to have a cycling program. It shows real leadership and proves that the Island is a place for our guests to come to bike.”
Cycling and other “soft adventure” activities like walking, hiking and kayaking provide more options to visitors while they are on Prince Edward Island. Many visitors include bicycles and kayaks when they pack, and enhancing the experience on the Island by addressing their needs makes for a more enjoyable and fulfilling vacation, Thompson said.
“We have a great asset on Prince Edward Island in the Confederation Trail for cyclist and our roads are much less busy than many experience in other locations,” said
Minister of Tourism, Valerie Docherty. “Adding programs, such as the Cyclist Welcome program, to tourism operations means that visitors can have confidence that their needs are going to be met but also helps operators to market their properties to a wider clientele. It’s important that all tourism operators, not just accommodations, understand that this is something that they can add to their services to appeal to potential customers.”
Operators who comply with the criteria outlined by QTS will be identified in the 2008 Visitor’s Guide and the online version of the Guide as members in the Cyclist Welcome Program. There is a fee of $50 to participate in the program and details can be obtained by contacting QTS at (902) 566-3501 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org .