Convention business almost doubles
New convention centre, 2014 celebrations credited for increased business
The number of people coming to P.E.I. for conferences and conventions is up 98 per cent over 2013.
The events will draw 24,000 people to the Island by the end of this year.
Michael Matthews, executive director of Meetings and Conventions PEI, is crediting years of promoting of the 2014 celebration, marking the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, and the opening of the Charlottetown Convention Centre as the major factors in the increased business.
The size of conventions coming is a major factor in the increased business. The number of meetings is up just 68 per cent, but the larger conventions that can be accommodated at the new centre means an even larger increase in visiting delegates.
Matthews said the conventions mean a lot for restaurants, bars and retail stores around the centre. A 2009 study showed delegates spent an average of $1,126 while visiting.
"We want to get a more accurate understanding of what that spend means when it comes to restaurants and retail," he said.
"The operations are saying they notice when the convention's in, much like the cruise business, there's a definite upswing."
Matthews said 2015 will probably not be as strong as 2014, but another boost is expected in 2017 for
Canada's 150th birthday, and the centre already has bookings through to 2018.