Tourism booms in P.E.I. with summer heat and celebrations
Tourism operators say bookings are filling up fast
For the first time since the opening of the Confederation Bridge, P.E.I. is experiencing a boom in tourism.
The good weather along with all of the summer events connected to the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference has been great news for tourism operators.
It’s welcome change after about five flat years with little growth.
Michael Gass, a tourism operator with the Harbour Hippo said until this week’s warm weather, it has been a slow season.
“We're finally starting to sell out our tours which hasn't happened yet, so that's super exciting. We actually have to tell people we've already sold all the seats,” he said.
Kevin Murphy, president of the Hotel Association of P.E.I. and owner of a local brewing company says events are key to growing tourism.
“Prince Edward Island has put a stake on the ground when it comes to the hosting of events and festivals,” he said. “In comparison to five years ago, there’s no comparison,” he said.
The Hotel Association of P.E.I. says July is up slightly and bookings are up as much as 10 to 15 per cent for August, September and October.
The association said the majority of visitors right now come from the neighbouring maritime provinces, they often wait for good weather and book last minute.
The group hopes to see an increase in visitors from Ontario and Quebec this year.
The Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. says a better U.S. economy should also help bring back Americans.
“We're seeing some really nice increases from the U.S., the last two to three years,” said Don Cudmore, executive director of the association. “I've heard already that the U.S. market appears to be up, lots of American cars around.”
The association says they will have a better idea of exactly how the season is shaping up, when they begin to receive tourism survey numbers in about a month.