Prince Edward Island tourism, boasts Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer, is riding quite a wave of success.
“We have tremendous momentum in the tourism industry today,’’ said Palmer.
“We are coming off the fifth record season in a row for visitation and spending, and for the second time in as many years, we surpassed one million overnight stays.
Palmer made the comments Wednesday as the 2019 tourism campaign was unveiled.
The campaign will call on “mainlanders’’ to come find their Island, along with all the delicious food, coastal scenery and unique culture that come with it.
The tourism industry employs over 7,700 full time equivalent workers and contributes more than $450 million to the province each year.
“It’s our people and our operators, and the hard work they put into this industry, that people remember best, and it’s what keeps them coming back,’’ said Palmer.
He called the food, beaches, culture, scenery and golf second to none.
“These are the well-established pillars of our campaign, and you will see them reflected throughout,’’ he said.
“They are the features that set P.E.I. apart and make us the mighty Island which, although it may be small in size, knows how to make big things happen.
Palmer said a focus will continue on soft outdoor adventures like kite-boarding and other water sports, as well as hiking and cycling on the province’s trail system.
He said tourism here will also be buoyed by the World Acadian Congress, which is being hosted in August in Prince Edward Island and Southeast New Brunswick. The event takes place every five years to celebrate Acadian culture and bring Acadian communities together to strengthen the ties between them.
Billed as the most important Acadian gathering in the world, the event is expected to draw more than 100,000 visitors to P.E.I. and New Brunswick while generating millions of dollars in economic impact.
Iconic Island author L.M. Montgomery is being leaned on even more this year in bringing tourists to the land of Anne. A park in honour of Montgomery, who penned “Anne of Green Gables”, is being built in Cavendish. The project will include a statue and a literary trail that will connect and lead visitors to Montgomery experiences.
P.E.I. is also being pitched in a far more collaborative effort as a wedding destination, including one-stop shopping at “i do P.E.I.’’, which covers everything from tuxes and transportation to photography and accommodations.