It was a beautiful summer day on Prince Edward Island recently and the beach at Victoria-by-the Sea was a fantastic place to be. The picturesque village between Charlottetown and Summerside on he Northumberland Strait is popular with tourists and Islanders and is known for its theatre and artisans.
July was a booming month for tourism operators, according to the latest provincial tourism statistics.
The numbers show a record level of overnight stays in Prince Edward Island with slightly more than 253,000 overnight stays in paid accommodations, which includes fixed roof accommodations and campgrounds.
This makes July 2016 one of the strongest Julys on record since occupancy reporting began in 2005.
Room-nights sold were also up by 11.1 per cent in July and just over 12 per cent for the year. Those figures were mirrored in campground site nights sold.
In its media release, the province chose to highlight that accommodations in Points East saw an increase of room nights sold by 12.8 per cent and campground site nights sold by 15.7 per cent from the same time last year, which the province says sheds light on the significance of ensuring a second ferry is secured to support the increasing tourism interest in the area.
The number of overnight stays increased by 11.2 per cent in July, fuelled predominately by strong visitation from New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, and United States visitors. Year-to-date overnight stays are up just over 12 per cent.
“These strong occupancy statistics, as well as other tourism indicators, are a continuation of our positive industry trends,” said Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald.
“In addition, bridge, air, and motor coach traffic indicators are up which shows positive signs of tourists travelling to Prince Edward Island from various areas. Early indicators for August also look promising, and we look forward to welcoming new tourists in the coming weeks and months to our beautiful Island.”
The Confederation Bridge traffic was up by 12.5 per cent for the month of July and 11.5 per cent for the year. Air traffic was up significantly for the year at 15.8 per cent. Motor coach traffic was also up 11 per cent this month and up by 7.4 per cent year to date. Tourism activity was strong across the Island in July.
Robert Jourdain, president of the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island (TIAPEI) says he was happy to hear such positive news for the industry in July.
“This has a positive ripple effect for every Islander and for the many other businesses who are impacted by tourism. Businesses all over the Island, both small and large, urban and rural will benefit,” he said.
“There has been a very strong effort put forth by everyone involved in tourism, from the many Islanders who greet our visitors, the marketing team and our tourism operators. This effort has created stronger awareness and more reason for people to visit and experience our Island, and share their stories.”
Tourism indicators are provided to the Province by individual tourism stakeholders and are compiled by staff in the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.