A cool million: P.E.I. tourism approaches landmark

What will almost certainly be another record year for tourism on P.E.I. could also hit a second milestone.

Numbers up in almost every category

Growth at heritage sites was particularly strong. Visits to Green Gables are up 32.7 per cent for the year. (Parks Canada)

What will almost certainly be another record year for tourism on P.E.I. could also hit a second milestone.

"One million overnight stays would be an incredible milestone for our Island's tourism industry," said Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald in a news release.

The province released tourism numbers for September on Thursday. They showed 938,277 overnights through to end of September, up 6.5 per over the record setting pace of 2016. Should the final three months of the year match 2016, that would be a total of 1,019,901 overnight stays.

Numbers up across the board

The growth in 2017 is in just about every category.

Numbers are up in every region.

Business is also up for fixed roof accommodations (+4.1%) and camping (+10.8%); for visitors from Canada (+7.7%), from the U.S.(+4.6%), from overseas; and for travellers arriving by Confederation Bridge (+2.4%), by ferry (+24.6%), and by air (+5.7%).

With both Northumberland ferries operational, arrival by water is showing the biggest increase. (CBC)

Motorcoach travel is down marginally, -0.3 per cent. Total golf rounds played is down 1.8 per cent.

Heritage sites have shown particular strength. Provincial sites are up 9.5 per cent and visit to P.E.I. National Park are up 35.3 per cent.

Macdonald said given the strength of the season four provincial day-use parks have been kept open an extra month, and the Charlottetown Visitor Information Centre will remain open through November.