Total room nights sold on P.E.I. in September fell 6.3 per cent compared to the same month last year, a month the Tourism Industry Association calls disappointing.

Tourism numbers in September

  • Bridge traffic: -5.2%
  • Air traffic: +1.0%
  • Ferry traffic: -1.8%
  • Cruise ships: +56.3%
  • Motorcoach: -7.8%

Golf courses reported a drop of 13.5 per cent in non-member rounds, visitation to provincial parks was down by close to 20 per cent, and national park visitation was down 1.9 per cent.

There was also a decline in motorcoach visits, Confederation Bridge traffic, and the number of people taking the ferry.

Air traffic was up one per cent and cruise ship traffic set a record with a 56 per cent increase over last September.

"August was a good month and we were hoping the momentum would hold through to September. Unfortunately there were some declines in September that are a bit disheartening, especially for the accommodations operators," said TIAPEI executive director Don Cudmore.

"The reality is September did not turn out to produce as we thought it should."

Cudmore said more money has to be spent on marketing and product development.

Provincial officials had a more positive view of the numbers. They noted year-to-date room nights sold are down just 1.6 per cent, and that those numbers are comparable with numbers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.