P.E.I. tourism operators saw an increase in business in July.

"We're encouraged by the numbers. We feel the key indicators are heading in the right direction," said Tourism Minister Rob Henderson.

"We're optimistic this is going to continue in August and September."

Traffic numbers

(July 2013 vs July 2012)

Bridge: +1.7%

Air: +2.9%

Ferry: -2.3%

Motorcoach: +38.5%

Total room nights sold were up 3.0 per cent in July over 2012. For the year, that number is down 1.3 per cent.

Total camp site nights sold was also up in July by 1.9 per cent, with a 12.1 per cent increase on the year to date.

Traffic was up on the Confederation Bridge, at Charlottetown Airport, and there was a big jump in motorcoach traffic. Henderson credited new work by hotel, motel and inn operators with that increase.

"The tourism industry, the accommodations sector has gotten fairly aggressive at putting together tourism packages," he said.

"They see the opportunities that are existing around that and I think they've done a good job in marketing Prince Edward Island."

Ferry traffic was down.

Most regions benefited from the increase in visitors. Only the Green Gables Shore region showed a drop in room nights sold, down 4.3 per cent. Charlottetown saw an increase of 10.5 per cent.

The statistics released Tuesday by the Department of Tourism show an increased interest in historic sites on the Island. Overall, visitation to historic sites was up 23.7 per cent overall. Green Park was a 43.6 per cent jump in visitors.