P.E.I.'s tourism industry put another record month in the books in September, with overnight stays up 8.1 per cent over last year's best September ever.

Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald expects P.E.I. will post record numbers for the third straight year.

"The success we're seeing this season is a direct result of our collective efforts to make Prince Edward Island one of the best places in the world to take a vacation," said MacDonald in a news release.

For the year to date overnight stays are up 11.0 per cent.

International visitors making a difference

P.E.I.'s traditional markets, visitors from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, are up for the year.

  • Nova Scotia: +3.2%
  • New Brunswick: +6.1%

But the big difference makers have been outside those markets. The Chinese market saw the biggest increase, up 39.2 per cent, but several other jurisdictions saw near 20 per cent increases.

  • Mid-Atlantic states: +24.2%
  • Quebec: +22.3%
  • Ontario: +18.5%

Benefits spread across province

While some parts of the province are doing better than others, every tourism region has seen an increase in tourism over the course of the year.

The weakest numbers are for Summerside and North Cape Coastal Drive, with increases in the low single digits.

The ferry crossing between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia continues to record poor numbers. Mechanical problems had Northumberland Ferries running only one ship instead of two. Traffic for September was down 21.0 per cent, and 14.0 per cent for the year.

The Island's other transportation links are posting double digit increases in traffic.

The tourism sector contributes more than $400 million a year to the provincial economy, noted the government in a release.