P.E.I.'s record tourism run could be over

Total overnight stays were down again for P.E.I. in August, leaving the province with a steep hill to climb if it is going to record a fifth year of record tourism in a row.

Traffic at main entry points is up

People are still coming to P.E.I., but they may not be staying as long. (John Robertson/CBC)

Total overnight stays were down again for P.E.I. in August, leaving the province with a steep hill to climb if it is going to record a fifth year of record tourism in a row.

Stays were down 2.1 per cent compared to August of 2017, and 1.8 per cent for the year to date.

The drop in business came despite what appears to be an increase in actual visitors. Traffic was up in the first eight months on both Confederation Bridge and Northumberland Ferries.

  • Bridge: +0.7%
  • Ferry: +2.6%
  • Airport: -1.0%

"This is something staff in Tourism PEI will be examining over the coming months," said Tourism Minister Chris Palmer in a news release.

"We'd like to know why we are seeing slightly fewer overnight stays while our entry points remain strong. It could indicate shorter average length of stay, smaller party sizes, or other factors."

June, July and August all saw declines versus 2017.

Overnight stays are down despite increases from the province's two largest markets, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

  • New Brunswick: +0.9%
  • Nova Scotia: +0.4%
  • Canada: -1.5%
  • United States: -5.6%
  • Key international markets: +1.9%

Among types of accommodations tourist homes and B&Bs took the hardest hit, down 9.3 per cent to the end of August.

More P.E.I news

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.