PEI

Report suggests reworking tourism in a post-COVID P.E.I.

Many islands — including P.E.I. — rely on tourism to boost their economies, but a report looking at how islands were impacted by COVID-19 has some rethinking the traditional tourism model.

'This really has been a pause, a pause button on what for many islands was really the driver of the economy'

The annual Report on Global Islands 2020, shows challenges and solutions for islands to rethink tourism as they build back their economies following negative impacts from COVID-19. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Many islands — including P.E.I. — rely on tourism to boost their economies, but a report looking at how islands were impacted by COVID-19 has some rethinking the traditional tourism model.

The annual Report on Global Islands 2020, published by the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island, shows challenges and solutions for islands to rethink tourism as they build back their economies following negative impacts from COVID-19.

"This really has been a pause, a pause button on what for many islands was really the driver of the economy," said Francesco Sindico, the co-director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, which is collaborating with UPEI on the report.

P.E.I. isn't the only island which relies heavily on tourism, Sindico said.

"There is a rethink of this tourism," he said. "For some islands … tourism is and still will be at the heart of the country. So, it's not something that will go away at all."

P.E.I. isn’t the only island which relies heavily on tourism — several islands in places such as the Caribbean do as well, says Francesco Sindico, the co-director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

He said islands off the shore of Scotland are similar to P.E.I. in terms of the short tourism season due to the climate.

"There are a number of ways of rethinking this," Sindico said. "It seems like there are plenty of things to do beyond those beautiful summer months. So, I think one of the things is to actually proactively think of how to extend the tourism season."

Communities organizing themselves and identifying local brands and food products is an important step, he said.

"It can happen through a public-private partnership," Sindico said.

"You have the public, meaning both the government, but also the people on the islands and in some cases also the private sector that work together both with public money and with people on the islands, the community, to come up with some sort of alternative tourism format than you had before."

Build back better

Sindico said the report is all about how to build back better as Island communities recover from COVID-19.

"I think one of the first actions is to fully understand what a community understands and wants for a more sustainable future," he said. "This is the opportunity to really go, be it Prince Edward Island, be it anywhere and try to do it in a way that actually makes sense."

Sindico is continuing to collaborate with the Institute of Island Studies through the COVID-19 Island Insights Series, where 24 islands from all over the world are being analyzed on how they coped with the pandemic and how to be more economically resilient post COVID-19.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now