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P.E.I.’s tourism industry facing tough times

While many Charlottetown residents enjoy the excitement that comes with the summer’s tourist season, they’re taking this time to appreciate a quieter pace and explore their city through a visitor’s eyes. - Photo Courtesy Tourism PEI/Emily O’Brien
Closed borders, restrictions and reduced capacities due to COVID-19 have devastated P.E.I.'s tourism industry. Without an exact timeframe as to when restrictions will be lifted and when business can start again in a meaningful way, many Island tourism businesses are vulnerable, concerned about their future and some are facing permanent closure.. - Photo Courtesy Tourism PEI/Emily O’Brien



The Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. (TIAPEI) has launched a 10-week awareness campaign, NOW more than ever #tourismcounts, to educate Islanders of the harsh reality that the Island’s tourism industry is facing.  

As part of the campaign, TIAPEI is urging Islanders to pledge their support to P.E.I.'s tourism industry so it can survive and continue to contribute to the provincial economy. 

Closed borders, restrictions and reduced capacities due to COVID-19 have devastated P.E.I.'s tourism industry. Without an exact timeframe as to when restrictions will be lifted and when business can start again in a meaningful way, many Island tourism businesses are vulnerable, concerned about their future and some are facing permanent closure.

The necessary public health measures that we support as an industry have impacted tourism harder than any other industry. Restaurants, bars, attractions, hotels, shops and other small businesses are all at severe economic risk right now, and many will not survive the current crisis. The loss of these businesses will be devastating, not only for the owners and employees whose livelihood depends on them but for the communities and Island economy.

“The tourism industry was the first to close and will be the last to recover. Prince Edward Island tourism expenditures are expected to be down 56 per cent, with some of our hardest hit sectors down between 80 and 100 per cent,” says Corryn Clemence, CEO of TIAPEI.  

“The Prince Edward Island tourism industry employs thousands of Islanders. Due to the impacts of COVID-19 many of these jobs are at risk.” 

Corryn Clemence is the chief executive officer of the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. - Dave Stewart
Corryn Clemence is the chief executive officer of the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. - Dave Stewart

 

Tourism contributes three times more to the Island's economy than in any other Canadian province, generating over six per cent of its GDP. Without visitors, this contribution to the Island's economy will be drastically cut, impacting the Island way of life.

The reality for the Island's tourism industry is grim. The Atlantic bubble ensured that many businesses could and did try to open in 2020. Still, Atlantic Canadian guests tend to have shorter stays and spend less per visit than visitors from further away. The Island’s visitor economy is built to accommodate 1.5 million visitors per year and the industry cannot survive on Atlantic Canadians alone.

Tourism operators know that the first step in rebuilding a thriving tourism industry is to continue P.E.I.’s enviable public health record to date towards COVID-19. Tourism operators want to ensure the economy reopens safely, while preventing the virus's spread, and demonstrated this during this past season. Tourism operators continue to work hard to ensure the safety of their guests, staff and the general public.

For more information, visit tiapei.pe.ca and follow @tiapei on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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