PEI

Heat-seeking Islanders booking more trips south after cold fall

The unusually cold and wintry fall has people on Prince Edward Island seeking warmer locales in higher-than-normal numbers, travel agents say.

'They're pretty anxious to have something to look forward to'

'People are starting much earlier' booking their vacations south, says Leann MacPhail-Cantwell with Maritime Travel in Charlottetown. (Marsha Halper/The Miami Herald/The Associated Press)

The unusually cold and wintry fall has people on Prince Edward Island seeking warmer locales in higher-than-normal numbers, travel agents say. 

November on P.E.I. looked a lot like January with colder than normal temperatures and three times the usual amount of snow.  

"We've been noticing that as the cold weather and the snow started early this year, people are getting on to booking their winter vacations much earlier than they normally would," said Leeann MacPhail-Cantwell, manager of Maritime Travel in Charlottetown. 

Travel agents on P.E.I. are usually busiest after Christmas, MacPhail-Cantwell said. "That's when it goes clean crazy." 

'It's been unusual'

But she and other travel agents CBC talked to Tuesday say they noticed business picking up in November — in fact at Maritime Travel, sales last month were up by almost a third over last November.

"This year people are starting much earlier, I think it's because of the weather. They're just like, 'Oh my God, this is going to be a long winter, I'm out of here,'" she said. 

"They're pretty anxious to have something to look forward to." 

Usually the two weeks before Christmas are very quiet as consumers try to get ready for the holidays, MacPhail-Cantwell said. 

"We'll see with this trend if it continues ... I'm not sure what'll happen, but for sure it's been unusual," she said. 

All-inclusive vacations south are popular as usual, and MacPhail-Cantwell said she has seen increased interest in locales including Costa Rica and Honduras as well as Spain and Portugal. 

More P.E.I. news

With files from Jessica Doria-Brown

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