Fernwood tourism business finalist for national award

Darlene Shea
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FERNWOOD – Experience PEI, owned and operated by Mary and Bill Kendrick of Fernwood, has been named a finalist in the Tourism Industry Association of Canada 2013 Canadian Tourism Awards. The experiential tourism company is one of four businesses from across Canada in the running for the Best Small or Medium-sized Tourism Business of the Year Award.

Bill and Mary Kendrick's Experience PEI company has been named a finalist in the Tourism Industry Association of Canada 2013 Canadian Tourism Awards again.

This is the second time in three years, Experience PEI has been selected as a finalist for this award.

The Canadian Tourism Awards are presented annually by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada to recognize success, leadership and innovation in Canada's tourism industry and to reward those people, places, organizations and events that have gone above and beyond to offer travellers superior tourism experiences in Canada.

"After just seven years in operation, it's a tremendous honour to be recognized as one of the tourism industry's top companies," says Mary Kendrick.

Experience PEI offers tourists unique experiential activities designed to provide visitors with the opportunity to spend time with Islanders doing what they do on a daily basis. Working with local experience providers, the company arranges for people to go tonging for oysters, digging clams, lobster fishing, sand sculpting and more than 20 other hands-on learning adventures.

"We created Experience PEI after listening to our guests at Briarcliffe Inn," says Bill Kendrick. "They would ask us questions about things they saw while touring the Island such as ‘what are those people doing in the small boats with the long sticks?’"

"We realized," adds Mary, "that what we see as commonplace, visitors see as exotic and different. So we decided to create the opportunity for them to learn about what we do here and how we do it."

Experience PEI has become the leading creator and provider of experiential tourism activities in Atlantic Canada. Their knowledge and expertise is now being sought by other tourism operators and agencies. They have done product development workshops in P.E.I., New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario helping others create experiences unique to those locations as well as working with Parks Canada and

Tourism Charlottetown. In addition, for the past three years they have been providing experiential shore excursions for cruise ship passengers visiting the Island. The company now employs five tour guides and partners with over 25 experience providers.

According to David Goldstein, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, "TIAC takes pride in recognizing the outstanding achievements of these organizations, people and events that truly represent the best of Canada’s tourism industry. Canada’s competitive advantage is driven by the dedication and passion of the tourism industry to provide genuine, world class experiences for visitors from across Canada and around the globe."

The 2013 Canadian Tourism Awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa on Dec. 3.

More details on the TIAC 2013 Canadian Tourism Awards can be found at

http://tiac.travel/2013_Finalists.html.

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