Tourism numbers strong and traffic on bridge up in April

Journal Pioneer staff
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BORDEN-CARLETON – The number of tourists crossing Confederation Bridge in April was up significantly.

Iain McCarvill rocks the Rock Stage at the Delta Prince Edward on Saturday night, along with his band, the Meds. The group is set to release their debut full-length album later this month.

Figures released by the province Monday showed traffic on the span linking the Island with the mainland was up by 11.4 per cent over last year, an indication of the significant increase in visitation seen across the Island’s tourism sector.

“Increased convention business and major events like East Coast Music Week made a significant contribution to overall visitation,” said Tourism Minister Robert Henderson. “These are very encouraging numbers so early in the year, and when you combine them with the increases we’re seeing in reservations and web traffic, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about the 2014 tourism season.”

The number of room nights sold last month was up by 14.9 per cent. The total number of delegates who attended meetings on the Island was up close to 1,500 compared to 2013, an increase of close to 300 per cent.

Year-to-date bridge traffic is up 3.8 per cent and total room nights sold is up 5.2 per cent.

John-Anthony Langdale, chairman of the Tourism Advisory Council (TAC), said, “Meetings and conventions are a key pillar of our tourism strategy and all signs point to a banner year for that sector of the industry in 2014 with major increases in booked conventions compared to 2013.”

Events like East Coast Music Week and major increases in convention business have a significant impact on the Island’s economy.

“We are very pleased with the results in April,” said Kevin Murphy, chairman of the Hotel Motel Association of Prince Edward Island. “We are also very optimistic about the summer. Our members are reporting increases of between 15 and 20 per cent in terms of pre-bookings compared to this time last year.”

The tourist industry accounts for more than 7,000 full-time equivalent jobs and about $380 million in economic activity each year.

The province says tourism contributes seven per cent of the provincial GDP, the highest percentage of all provinces in Canada.

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