Tourism PEI sent a special food truck to eight festivals over the summer, dishing up P.E.I. mussels and fries in exchange for a little information.
Marketing manager Brenda Gallant is calling the food truck tour a success.
The tour of the specially-kitted truck with two chefs on board cost $100,000. The rented truck served up food to 58,000 people in Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, and 16,000 of those shared contact information. Festival-goers looking for a taste of P.E.I. had to speak to a tourism ambassador first.
The information gathered went into Tourism PEI's customer relationship management (CRM) database.
"We're starting to really get more sophisticated with our CRM system in looking at what are their specific interests," said Gallant.
"So, if they're interested in culinary we might send them some recipes using Prince Edward Island food. We'll talk to them about some of the activities that they could do here, for example going out on a fishing boat and enjoying lobster right on board the boat, or some of the various experiences that we have to offer."
Gallant said $100,000 could purchase four national newspaper ads, or one modest TV advertisement without the air time, but she said she was happy with the return on investment for the truck.
Still, she said the truck will likely not tour again next year. Gallant said this year's tourism marketing strategy will focus on the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference. The province will release its new marketing strategy for 2014 Friday afternoon at the tourism association meetings.