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Tourism P.E.I. projects it will see just 24 per cent of visitors from 2019

Tourism Minister Matthew MacKay
Tourism Minister Matthew MacKay. - Contributed

P.E.I. could see a quarter of the tourists it saw last year if projections developed by Tourism P.E.I. prove to be true.

Tourism P.E.I. has prepared projections for the 2020 tourism season based on several scenarios. One scenario would see a Maritime “bubble,” allowing unrestricted travel between P.E.I., Nova Scotia and New Brunswick between May and December. This possibility assumed COVID-19-related quarantines for visitors from these regions would essentially be waived.

The projections were tabled in the legislature after a question was put to Tourism Minister Matthew MacKay by Liberal MLA Heath MacDonald.

Under the Maritime bubble scenario, the number of visitors was projected to be around 450,000, or 24 per cent of the 2019 level.

The total value of tourism-related expenditures was projected to be $93 million over the seven-month period, approximately 21 per cent of the amount spent in 2019.

The total number of overnight stays was projected to around 146,000 nights sold or 16 per cent of the 2019 level.

This scenario did not include allowing in visitors from outside Atlantic Canada or tourists from Newfoundland and Labrador.

A recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the Campbellton region of New Brunswick may have slowed plans for this bubble between the Atlantic provinces. P.E.I. began accepting applications from seasonal residents on June 1, but the applications are so far limited only to those from either New Brunswick or Nova Scotia.

The Guardian has reached out to the Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture for information about projections.

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