P.E.I. tourism association optimistic low Canadian dollar will bring more visitors
Tourism association is focusing on boosting visitor numbers from the U.S. and nearby provinces
The Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. (TIAPEI) is optimistic the low Canadian dollar will translate into another strong year for tourism on P.E.I.
The Island saw record tourism numbers in 2015 with September the busiest for overnight stays since the province began tracking figures in 2005. The low Canadian dollar was credited with playing a part in keeping Canadians within Canada for vacations and for attracting Americans.
"I think there's a positive for tourism operators what I'm hearing. Of course our dollar goes a lot further for the American traveller, so that is definitely a positive," said Kevin Mouflier, TIAPEI's CEO.
"I think we have to focus towards building on the positives that we had in 2015 and growing our visitations."
Mouflier said TIAPEI will focus on attracting visitors from neighbouring provinces and nearby states in the U.S.
'When we have visitors, we wow them'
Mouflier said there has been a focus by Destination Canada, formerly the Canadian Tourism Commission, on investing in marketing to the U.S. with a program called Connecting America.
He says the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership is looking toward investing in the program to build on American visitation to the region.
The greatest opportunities are in the leisure and motorcoach market, Mouflier believes.
He said he will meet with Island operators over the next few weeks about how bookings are going.
Mouflier also said TAIPEI will focus on strengthening the tourism services offered in P.E.I. by continuing to offer programs and training to its members.
"When we have visitors, we wow them," he said.