P.E.I. tourism industry 'thrilled' as half of summer opens to Canadian visitors
‘The July 28 opening to the rest of Canada is a game changer’
P.E.I. made a big shift Tuesday morning on when it would open its borders to Canadians outside of Atlantic Canada, and the tourism industry is looking forward to welcoming those visitors.
At a COVID-19 pandemic briefing Tuesday morning, the province moved forward some dates for reopening borders.
Fully vaccinated Canadians will be able to apply for a P.E.I. Pass that will allow travel to the Island as soon as July 28. Under the original plan announced May 27, no travellers from outside Atlantic Canada could arrive before Sept. 12, unless they got pre-travel approval through one of the existing travel streams.
"We were really excited to get the news. Obviously, the July 28 opening to the rest of Canada is a game changer for our industry," said Corryn Clemence, executive director of the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I.
"I'm thrilled that we can start looking at a partial summer with the rest of Canada."
Clemence said operators had been getting cancellations following that original announcement, but she is hopeful they will be able to win some of that business back.
Kevin Murphy, a spokesperson for P.E.I. Business Continuity Group, an association of business people working toward post-pandemic economic recovery, said the P.E.I. announcement today, along with new announcements from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have helped clarify the travel situation in the region.
"We heard it loud and clear from our guests off-Island, they were confused," said Murphy.
"They can plan with some certainty now. If you're vaccinated you're welcome to Prince Edward Island. We look forward to entertaining you."
Hearing the change of date now will give the industry time to market and plan for the border reopening, said Clemence.
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With files from Julien Lecacheur and Angela Walker