P.E.I. tourism industry back in record territory

Following a marginal drop in performance in 2018, P.E.I.’s tourism industry set another record for total overnight stays in 2019.

Overnight stays top 2017 record

Heritage sites were a big attraction. Visitation to Beaconsfield in Charlottetown was up 22.5 per cent. (Government of P.E.I.)

Following a marginal drop in performance in 2018, P.E.I.'s tourism industry set another record for total overnight stays in 2019.

The industry has set records in five of the last six years.

"This continued success could not be achieved without the passionate and tenacious people working in our Island's tourism industry," said Tourism Minister Matthew MacKay in a news release.

Numbers released by the provincial government show 1,031,513 overnight stays at tourism accommodations in 2019. That's up 1.7 per cent over the previous year and 0.5 per cent over the previous record, set in 2017.

Visitors arrived in record numbers via Confederation Bridge and Charlottetown Airport. The cruise industry saw an increase in visitors of almost 30 per cent.

Parks and historic sites remained a big attraction, with visitation up double digits in several places over 2018. P.E.I. National Park was up 14.1 per cent, and overall visitation to provincial heritage sites was up 12 per cent.

Visitors were choosing fixed roof accommodations over camping.

Operators responded to the recent success in the industry by making 5.3 per cent more room nights available, and consequently were able to sell 3.6 per cent more room nights than in 2018. Growth was particularly strong in Charlottetown and the Points East region. Visitors also showed a preference for cabins and cottages, up 6.3 per cent.

Site night sales for campgrounds were down 1.8 per cent.

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