How P.E.I. tourism operators are learning to make connections through Anne and L.M. Montgomery
Tourism association hosting speed networking event to help make connections
Tourism operators on P.E.I. are being encouraged to find some kindred spirits as they get ready for the 2019 season.
The Central Coastal Tourism Partnership is organizing its first ever L.M. Montgomery Speed Networking Event and Roundtable later this month.
"We do have a roundtable group of folks who are connected to Lucy Maud Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables and they've been meeting for a couple of years now," said Peggy Miles, tourism development manager for the group.
"But this is the first time we've had a speed networking event."
Central Coastal includes everything between Summerside and Charlottetown, South Shore to North Shore, including Cavendish.
But Miles says the event is open to anyone on the Island with a connection to Anne or Montgomery.
"It's really primarily geared toward accommodation operators or tourism operators that have different experiences that may tap into Anne of Green Gables or Lucy Maud Montgomery," Miles said.
"The idea is for them to come together and share ideas and have an information exchange and hopefully form some partnerships out of that."
Miles says the Anne/Montgomery Roundtable also has members from Parks Canada, Confederation Centre, the Lucy Maud Montgomery Institute at UPEI and Tourism PEI. They meet several times a year.
The speed networking event is designed to make even more connections.
"Sometimes we assume everybody knows each other, everybody's connected but we find that's not always the case," Miles said.
"It's really going to be an event where everybody and anybody with Anne and with Montgomery are invited to attend."
Central Coastal has had other speed networking events in the past.
For example, the group organized a culinary speed networking event where they brought together farmers and food producers with restaurant owners.
"The feedback we got was that it was really beneficial to have that one on one," Miles said.
"That's the same idea with this session."
Miles says there is lots of excitement around Anne and Montgomery in 2019, including the TV series Anne with an E, which is now in its second season.
- New Anne of Green Gables series creates PEI tourism interest
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"That's certainly on the radar for this group, we're looking at marketing, product development which could be new tourism experiences related to Anne and to Montgomery," Miles said.
"With the new Anne series on television, that provides a new opportunity and a new younger market that's learning about Anne of Green Gables for the first time."
Miles says she's targeting 40 to 50 people to attend the speed networking event and she's hoping there will be results.
"Possibly operators from different areas of the province learning about what each is offering and then forming packages or deciding to do some joint marketing together," Miles said.
"Those are the things that we're hoping for and that it will just grow from there."