Seasonal residents on P.E.I. and their guests spend more than $80 million a year in the province, a new report published by the Tourism Research Centre at UPEI suggests.

Tourism Minister Rob Henderson said the report shows how important seasonal residents are to the Island economy and the tourism industry.

"They pay property taxes, they pay for upgrades to those properties, and they entice visitors to the Island that spend money on things like food and entertainment," Henderson said in a news release.

The report says a significant amount of spending comes in from friends or family visiting seasonal homeowners. A survey found 94 per cent had friends or family visit them on P.E.I. Of those visitors, only 34 per cent of them would have considered coming if they hadn't known someone in the province.

The study shows just over half of seasonal home owners have family ties to the province and one third are former residents. About two thirds are Canadian, with almost all the rest being from the U.S.

Information for the report was gathered during the winter of 2011, with 895 surveys completed. The results are considered accurate within 2.91 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.