June tourism numbers show promise
Total overnight stays up 2.8 per cent
Tourism on P.E.I. was up in most categories in June as compared to last year.
Overnight stays in the province were up 2.8 per cent. Traffic was up from all sources except for cruise ships. Motor coach traffic was up 21.6 per cent.
Charlottetown was the biggest beneficiary of the increased business, with an increase in room nights sold of 12.4 per cent. Most other areas were up slightly, but Green Gables Shore, with Cavendish at its centre, was down 3.6 per cent.
Tourism Minister Rob Henderson believes poor weather affected the decisions of Maritimers to come to the Island in June, with the number of overnight stays by visitors from Nova Scotia down 7.2 per cent and visitation from New Brunswick up slightly.
"If I look at June I would think weather probably played a bit of a factor when you look at the Nova Scotia, New Brunswick market. If people have a poor forecast for the weekend they probably would postpone their trip and come another time," said Henderson.
"I think when you get into the much more favourable weather in July and August, that we hope to see, that those numbers would reflect in those particular jurisdictions."
Higher visitation from western Canada, Ontario and internationally more than made up for the soft Maritime market.
Overnight stays by visitors from Japan were up a whopping 347 per cent.
The province is hoping for a big year in tourism. It is heavily promoting travel to the province as part of celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference. The 1864 meeting launched the discussions that led to Confederation. PEI, federal and municipal governments have sunk $29 million dollars into the celebrations.