Anne of Green Gables movie creates interest in P.E.I. tourism

The new Anne of Green Gables movie premiered Monday night, and the P.E.I. government is crediting it with pushing page views its tourism web page up 30 per cent over the same time last year.

'We did get a big bang for our buck with this one,' says Tourism PEI

Last night's premiere on YTV of the new Anne movie caused a spike in web page views for Tourism PEI. (Ken Woroner)

The new Anne of Green Gables movie premiered Monday night, and Tourism PEI is crediting it with a healthy bump in web page views, which were up 30 per cent over the same time last year.

The province spent $100,000 on a partnership with the production company behind the movie, Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, which aired on the YTV network.

"We were very happy obviously because having a production like which really, really helps to promote Prince Edward Island across the country— and I know people will be recording this and will re-watch it, it will be re-airing — we were just thrilled to see so many people thinking about Prince Edward Island," said Brenda Gallant, director of marketing and communications for Tourism PEI.

The promotion of P.E.I. began even before the province's commercials rolled during the program, with several mentions of the Island on YTV three weeks in advance. The Tourism PEI website also saw spikes in online visits every time the Island was mentioned. 

#AnneofGreenGables

"There was a lot of increased activity in social media as well, on Twitter and on Facebook, a lot of people using the hashtags and copying us and also just some general talk about wanting to come to Prince Edward Island," Gallant said. 

Brenda Gallant of Tourism PEI says 'we were just thrilled to see so many people thinking about Prince Edward Island.' (CBC)

It's hard to measure just how many of those page views will translate into actual bookings to come to the Island, said Gallant. But if people are spending more time on the province's website, she believes it's a good sign they're interested in visiting.  

"Gone are the days of one-way advertising where you're putting an ad some place and saying you know 'how great we are,'" said Gallant. 

"Our job is to say 'turn those positive thoughts into a visit' and that's where we try to engage as much as possible." 

Scenic shots of P.E.I. provided by the province to incorporate into the movie, which was filmed in Ontario, makes the destination more enticing and intriguing, said Gallant. 

"Or perhaps adds it to that bucket list that we all have," she said.

With files from Stephanie Kelly

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