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Campers help propel another record July in tourism

Economic Development and Tourism minister, Health MacDonald, centre, chats with Kent and Donna Setner from KOA Campground in Cornwall.
Economic Development and Tourism minister, Health MacDonald, centre, chats with Kent and Donna Setner from KOA Campground in Cornwall.

The numbers are in after a busy camping season for campground owners on P.E.I.

The industry saw another record July in tourism with 124,000 campsite nights sold during the month, an increase of 12.2 per cent compared to July 2016.

“The great weather in July, the relatively low Canadian dollar, the Canada 150 celebrations and the incredible product we provide visitors on our Island made this a banner year at our facility,” said Donna Setner, the manager of the KOA campground in Cornwall.

Strong camping numbers helped overnight stays increase by 5.3 per cent over last July.

The Confederation Bridge and Charlottetown Airport also set new records for July, with increases of about 2.5 per cent and 9.9 per cent compared to last year. Northumberland Ferries posted a 26.9 per cent gain after mechanical issues in 2016 reduced the number of daily crossings.

“Thanks to our innovative and hard working tourism operators, we are optimistic that the strong season will continue,” said Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald.

“Events like Fall Flavours, the PEI International Shellfish Festival, and a steady stream of meetings and conventions through September and October show why we are a mighty Island.”

While golf rounds were down 4.9 per cent P.E.I. National Park and Green Gables Heritage Place both posted large increases over last season at 53.8 and 37.9 per cent respectively. Island Heritage sites also saw an increase in visitation of 11.8 per cent.

As a primary industry on the Island, tourism provides over 7,700 direct jobs and contributes approximately $430 million to the provincial economy.

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