If visits to the Tourism PEI website in January are any indication, 2014 will be a banner year for the industry, says Tourism Minister Rob Henderson.

The web site set a January record last month with 177,000 visits, up from 120,000 in 2013. Many of those visitors arrived via Google searches, 96,000 this year as compared to 62,000 last January.

pe-si-robhenderson

The province got an early start with its tourism marketing, says Rob Henderson. (CBC)

Henderson believes there are several reasons for the upswing.

"We have been out in the market place a little earlier," he said, noting marketing normally begins in March.

"We have been doing things, whether it's YouTube videos or themed contests on Facebook or just generally the 2014 road show even. All those things are raising an awareness about Prince Edward Island."

Henderson is hopeful it will mean more tourists on the Island this year. Bookings through the provincial online reservation system Book PEI are up.

Henderson said he has spoken to a number of tourism operators who say reservations are looking good for 2014.