P.E.I. tourism celebrates busiest summer ever

The P.E.I. tourism industry has followed up record business in July with a record-breaking August.

Year-to-date numbers up double digits

P.E.I. tourism appears to be on the way to another record-breaking year. (Submitted by Isaac Williams)

Overnight stays were up 7.6 per cent over August 2015. For the year so far, overnight stays are up 11 per cent over 2015, which was itself a record-breaking year.

"I'm very optimistic that the strong numbers will continue into September with world-class events like Fall Flavours and the P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival, which once again saw record crowds," said Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald in a news release.

The province's tourism indicators report shows the increased tourism came largely from Quebec, Ontario, the United States and New Brunswick. The largest increase was from Quebec market, with a 19.6 per cent increase compared to last August.

Ferry traffic down

The Confederation Bridge reported a 9.4 per cent increase compared to last August, and the Charlottetown Airport a 7.5 per cent increase.

Traffic on Confederation Bridge was up 9.4 per cent compared to last August. (Submitted by Adam Stewart)

Traffic at Northumberland Ferries was way down 22 per cent. The service has been running only one ferry all summer with the Holiday Island out of service.

The province says the drop in ferry traffic underscores the need for ferry service to return to full capacity.