William, Kate visit expected to boost P.E.I. tourism
Royal couple visits Canada June 30-July 8
P.E.I.'s tourism industry is expecting a big kickoff to the season this summer with the visit of Prince William and Kate Middleton to Canada.
The couple will be married by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on April 29, in a morning wedding service at Westminster Abbey in London, England.
The couple is in Canada from June 30 to July 8, and a P.E.I. visit is scheduled near the start of the high tourist season, which couldn't be better timed for the Island.
"I think there's a renewed interest in the monarchy with the youthfulness of the royal couple," said Tourism Minister Robert Vessey.
"It's right in a great time of year. It's the first couple weeks of July when Prince Edward Island looks its best."
Penny Walsh McGuire, director of sales with Charlottetown's Confederation Centre of the Arts, is expecting a boost from the visit.
"Not only from the perspective that Royal Family fans will be certainly interested in coming to the Island," said McGuire, "but additionally the Royal Family will certainly draw national and international media attention to P.E.I."
No one knows yet where on the Island the royal couple will tour, or how long they will stay. Last year, when Live! with Regis and Kelly visited the province, it was largely able to set the itinerary.
But the royals are directing their own visit.
This is not, however, a big concern for Vessey. The royal trip is already attracting international attention.
"Just to get into the U.K. with that is a great opportunity," he said.
"The branches from that is endless. We have no idea where we'll end up in the media and what part of the world over this royal visit."