November 5, 2008
For immediate release
September Tourism Performance Indicators Released
Airport traffic has increased 13% year-to-date, while bridge traffic is down 12% year-to-date, and ferry traffic is down 8% year-to-date. Cruise ship passengers experienced a 155% increase in the month of September, while the motorcoach traffic shows an increase of 18.3% from this time last year.
International visitation is up 16.5% year-to-date, with visitors from Germany up close to 31% and Japan visitors up 70%.
Room-nights-sold in the month of September is down 6.5% compared to September 2007. Year-to-date the room-nights-sold in 2008 is down 1.1%.
“Ideally, we would like to see numbers increasing, however, considering the global economic situation, Prince Edward Island is faring well compared to some of its Canadian neighbouring provinces,” said Chris Jones, Policy, Planning and Research Director, Tourism PEI. “It’s become increasingly important for government to work with industry partners in growing Prince Edward Island tourism in the coming years.”
With fewer people traveling and more people vacationing in their own province, room-nights-sold to Islanders shows an increase of 16.7 % for the month of September.
Kevin Murphy, Chair of the Tourism Advisory Council commented, “The decline in bridge traffic that our industry experienced this summer has continued into September with traffic off 22% for the month. This is a real concern that the industry is working to reconcile with relatively stable hotel occupancy rates (down 1.5% in September and only 0.2% year to date). It would seem that we are seeing shifts in travel trends in light of fuel prices and economic realities – less day trip traffic, increases in length of stay and Islanders staying home to vacation.”
Mr Murphy also added, “Understanding this phenomenon is helping to guide the plan for 2009, which industry and government are aggressively working on and which will be driven by creative and more cost-effective ways to attract visitors. The presentation of the Tourism Plan 2009 at TIAPEI at the end of November will present new opportunities for industry to work with us toward growth – despite the economic outlook.
Tourism performance indicators are released to the public monthly and can be downloaded at www.gov.pe.ca/tourism.