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February 13, 2014
For immediate release

Early start to marketing campaign driving increases in web visitation

Tourism and Culture

Substantial increases in website visitation are a positive sign that the 2014 integrated tourism marketing campaign is generating increased interest in Prince Edward Island as a tourism destination, says Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson.

“This past January saw an increase of close to 50 percent in the number of visits to the Tourism PEI website compared to the same month last year, so it’s safe to say that our earlier than normal start to the marketing campaign and 2014 themed contests are seeing positive results,” said Minister Henderson. “And while we can’t guarantee that major increases in web visitation will ultimately result in an increase in the number of visitors to the Island this summer, it is a positive indication that our marketing efforts are causing people to have a serious look at what we have to offer potential visitors in 2014.”

Normally the province’s marketing campaign starts in early March, but additional funding for marketing from PEI 2014 Inc this year and a concerted effort to promote the 2014 celebrations helped get the campaign off to an earlier start.

In total there were a record 177,247 visits to the website in January 2014 compared to 119,685 the previous January. There was also a noticeable increase in the number of people who searched for information on tourism on Prince Edward Island and arrived at the Tourism PEI website. Last January, 61,862 people searched Google and arrived at the Tourism PEI website. That number increased to 95,834 this past January, an increase of about 55 percent.

There were also noticeable increases in the number of Facebook likes and bookings through the provincial online reservation system Book PEI.

“I’m way ahead of where I was this time last year in terms of reservations, and I’ve never seen so many reservations this early in the year,” said Robert Jourdain, owner of Little York Bed and Breakfast. “I think the earlier than normal start to the marketing campaign, the contests and the additional investment in tourism marketing for 2014 are paying early dividends. For me, this is a very positive sign that we are headed in the right direction for a busy 2014.”

Tourism is a vital industry in Prince Edward Island that provides over 7,000 full-time equivalent jobs for Islanders. It accounts for approximately $380 million in economic activity each year and seven percent of GDP, the highest percentage of any Canadian province.

Media Contact: Andrew Sprague
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