UEPI's Tourism Research Centre has released a new report that profiles visitors to the island, based on how much money they spend.

The report, which was based on an exit survey of visitors between July 2007 and June 2008, found that people who spend less than $100 a night are typically Maritime baby boomer couples.

The so-called "low spenders" made P.E.I. their primary destination and are the island's most frequent guests, usually during off-season, said research director Dr. Paul Lewis.

They also stayed longer than any other group, likely because half of them came to visit friends or relatives, he said.

Medium-low spenders, who typically shell out up to $250 a night, represent the bulk of P.E.I. visitors, at 41 per cent. They also tended to be Maritime couples, aged 35 or older.

Although they also made P.E.I. their primary destination, they were less likely to be repeat visitors, said Lewis.

Bigger spenders

The medium-high spenders, who forked out between $250 and $450 per night, were commonly families with children under the age of 18.

They often had the highest level of participation for any given activity.

They also tended to stay shorter periods in more expensive lodgings, such as hotels, motels, cottages and resorts, rather than campgrounds, or with friends and relatives, the report found. 

The highest spenders, who injected more than $450 a night into the local economy, were more likely to be first-time visitors.

They were usually families, or groups of three or more adults and had the shortest stays, usually no more than two nights.