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October 3, 2014
For immediate release
Province releases August tourism numbers
Tourism and Culture
A ten year high for overnight stays through August and record numbers at the Charlottetown Airport highlight what is turning out to be a banner year for the tourism industry on Prince Edward Island, says Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson.
“So far this year, overnight stays are up five per cent and site nights sold at local campgrounds are up 7.1 per cent. Both of those are records since we started tracking occupancy in 2005,” said Minister Henderson. “Combine that with two record months in a row at the Charlottetown Airport in July and August and there’s no question it’s been a successful season so far for the tourism industry on Prince Edward Island. We are very optimistic we will achieve our goal of a five per cent increase in direct tourism revenue in 2014.”
The Charlottetown Airport reports a 7.4 per cent increase in traffic year-to-date after posting a 13.3 per cent increase over August last year. The Confederation Bridge reports a 2.9 per cent increase year-to-date. Room nights sold has also seen an increase of 3.8 per cent through August.
Although not included in the indicator report released today, many rural events and attractions across the Island are also reporting increases in attendance this year.
“Obviously, not every festival, attraction and accommodation is up this year, but the overwhelming majority of owners and organizers tell me they had a good or great year, and that’s good news,” said Minister Henderson.
Northumberland Ferries was among the operations to report a decrease in traffic so far in 2014, but the service lost several days to bad weather and mechanical problems that contributed to its 3.2 per cent drop through August. Non-member rounds at local golf courses are down 8.7 per cent so far this year, and four of the seven provincial heritage sites saw decreases in attendance.
Green Gables House is up 9.6 per cent through August and visitation at Province House is up 39.7 per cent over 2013.
“We are very pleased with tourism performance right across Prince Edward Island so far in 2014,” said the Chair of the Tourism Advisory Council John Anthony Langdale. “Overnight stays are up in all regions but one, and events and attractions all over the Island are reporting increases in attendance this year. It is very encouraging to see that rural parts of the province have benefitted from increased visitation through the end of August.”
The statistics are provided to the province by individual tourism operators and are compiled by staff in the Department of Tourism and Culture.
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.
To see the full report visit www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/current_tourism.pdf.