Anne tourism boosted by new Anne of Green Gables package

Published on August 15, 2014
Madyson Mowat, daughter of Rachel and Ken of St. Catharines, Ont., who is vacationing and visiting family on the Island helps Anne get a head in a cutout on Queen Street, Charlottetown. 
Heather Taweel - The Guardian

Businesses are learning this year that being kindred spirits is not only good for the soul, it is also good for their bottom line, or so some of the Island's Anne themed business are finding out as a result of putting together a definitive new Anne of Green Gables Package.

The five Anne atttractions are Avonlea Village, Green Gables Heritage Place, the site of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Cavendish home, the Anne of Green Gables museum, and Anne & Gilbert, the musical.

Owners of three of these attractions came together last year to determine if there was a way they could work together to increase attendance at their attractions by working together.

What they decided to was to bundle all five attractions together for one price for Anne enthusiasts to buy. And that this Anne of Green Gables package would be an answer to a question often asked by tens of thousands of tourists a year, “What are some of the great Anne sites to visit?”

The success of The Anne of Green Gables Package was so immediate, it caught some of the operators off guard.

George Campbell, owner of the Anne of Green Gables Museum, said he is seeing hundreds of package ticket-holders come through his doors.

“It proves that working together, being kindred spirits is good for everybody. We know that over 20 per cent of first time visitors coming to the Island come because of Anne of Green Gables. This package helps them see all five of our attractions.”

Avonlea Village manager Sheela Curley noted, “By working together we make it likely that all of our attractions increase their sales. What this does is get Anne lovers to committ to seeing all five of our attractions, when in some cases they may have only chosen to visit three or four of them.”

The net result has proven the theory sound, as The Guild's production of Anne & Gilbert, The Musical has seen nearly a third of its sales come from the Anne of Green Gables Package.

“It's proof that people love Anne, and those who love it, want as much as they can get,” said Alanna Jankov, executive director of The Guild. “Which is great for Anne & Gilbert, because it means we have very knowledgable audience members, most of whom already love Anne.”

One of the side benefits of the Anne of Green Gables Package sales is that it often encourages visitors to stay on the Island just a little bit longer, because of their committment to see five attractions.