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November 13, 2014
For immediate release
2014 tracking toward a record setting year for tourism
Tourism and Culture
The September numbers are in and the results point to a record setting year for the tourism industry on Prince Edward Island in 2014, says Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson.
“Some of the key figures we’re seeing through September are the best we’ve seen since we began tracking tourism statistics in 2005,” said Minister Henderson. “Overnight stays, site nights sold at local campgrounds, and traffic at the Charlottetown Airport are all record numbers at this point in the season. I think that speaks volumes about our efforts to promote the Island’s traditional strengths, like food, culture and coastal scenery, but also about the 2014 celebration year and how it helped bring additional visitors to the Island. We worked very hard with industry, local business and community organizations across the province to make 2014 a special year on Prince Edward Island, and it’s wonderful to see that hard work paying off. Obviously not all tourism related businesses saw an increase this year, but we are very pleased with the overall success of the season.”
Through September, overnight stays are up 5.4 per cent compared to 2013 and are at their highest level since tracking began in 2005. Room nights sold are up 4.1 per cent and are at their highest level since 2008. Site nights sold at local campgrounds are up eight per cent on the year, and are also at their highest level since tracking began.
The Charlottetown Airport is very likely to set a record for passenger traffic in 2014. Its two busiest months ever were in July and August. It was also a record June and a record September for the airport. Passenger traffic is up 7.1 per cent compared to last year through September.
The Confederation Bridge is also reporting an increase over 2013. Traffic is up two per cent through September compared to the same period last year.
Visits to Province House are up an impressive 48 per cent compared to 2013, and visits to Green Gables House in Cavendish are up 9.2 percent compared to last year.
Northumberland Ferries is reporting a 4.7 per cent drop in traffic this year but much of that reduction is attributable to crossings canceled due to mechanical issues. Non member golf rounds are down 3.3 per cent in 2014, and visits to provincial museum sites are down 15.6 per cent compared to last year.
“The Tourism Advisory Council set a goal of a five per cent increase in direct tourism revenue in 2014 and we are increasingly optimistic we will achieve that goal,” said TAC Chair John Anthony Langdale. “And while not all tourism related businesses saw an increase this year, the industry as a whole performed extremely well and the majority of attractions, accommodations and events saw the benefits of increased visitation to the province.”
To see the full report visit www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/current_tourism.pdf.
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 per cent of GDP, the highest percentage of any Canadian province.