P.E.I. credits events for tourism increase
Statistics released Tuesday by the P.E.I. government show tourism was up again in July.
June showed a small increase over 2009, and tourism officials had been hopeful that trend would continue into the high tourist season. The total number of rooms and campsites booked was up 7.6 per cent compared to July of 2009, with traffic up by bridge, air and ferry as well.
Tourism Minister Robert Vessey said the increase in tourism vindicates government decisions to invest in special events.
"We did some investments in July which industry had asked [for in] the first couple of weeks of July, that were soft the last couple of years," said Vessey.
"It looks by these numbers that that investment has paid off."
Those events included broadcasts by Live! with Regis and Kelly, Summerfest and the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.
Don Cudmore, executive director of the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I., was pleased to see the good results after several stagnant years.
"It's been a while," said Cudmore.
"We would never say that we have turned a corner or anything like that, but with all the activities happening in July we were very, very pleased that we were able to hang on and get some decent numbers out of it. So all in all very positive."
Not all the numbers increased. The number of rounds of golf was down 6.4 per cent from last July, and Green Gables house seems to have lost some of its charm for visitors, showing a drop of more than 20 percent.