SUMMERSIDE - The president of Tourism Summerside sees the potential for growth in the city’s 2014 tourism season.
© Mike Carson/Journal Pioneer
Tourism Summerside president Duke Cormier is optimistic about the 2014 tourism season.
Duke Cormier told members at the group’s annual general meeting earlier this week, that changes are occurring that bode well for the local industry.
Atlanticade is one of the featured events returning to Summerside in 2014 and while in past years, it drew close to 10,000 people, bad weather in 2013 kept the numbers down.
“We do have Atlanticade which will be coming up this year,” Cormier said. “It rained in 2013. We had, depending what number you want to believe, anywhere from 10 per cent to 30 per cent of the rooms cancelled. I’m looking forward to sun this year and no rooms cancelled. That’s an opportunity for growth.”
The new look Summerside Lobster Carnival is another plus for the upcoming tourism season, he said
“Lobster carnival has been a wonderful activity in this community for years and years,” Cormier said. “This year there’s a reinvigoration. The group that’s stepping in there with new executive director, who’s not hired yet, but will operate lobster carnival. Will it make a world of difference in 2014? Probably not at the start but as the energy builds overtime it’s going to be a more positive event.”
Cormier said the work being done by the city’s community development department to bring in minor sports tournaments will have a large impact on the local economy.
“The city’s tourism strategy, J P (Desroisiers) director of community services) is doing the work trying to encourage the hockey associations, the soccer associations, the basketball associations, minor sports associations to have more tournaments in Summerside,” Cormier said. “He’s working with them to find a way. Sometimes it’s putting people together. Sometimes it’s making space available but encouraging that on an ongoing basis.”
He said about 40 of these events happened in 2013 and projects are for that number to rise to near 70 for 2014.
“Maybe it’s a ten-team tournament or and eight-team tournament or a 26-team tournament, it’s putting heads in beds,” Cormier said.