Seasonal residents who own a second home on Prince Edward Island, and those who come to visit them are big contributors to the Island economy, says Tourism Minister Robert Henderson.
According to a new report published by the Tourism Research Centre for Tourism P.E.I., seasonal residents and their visitors spend just over $80 million a year in the province.
“It goes to show how important seasonal residents are to the Island economy and tourism industry,” Henderson said in a news release issued this morning.
“They pay property taxes, they pay for upgrades to those properties and they entice visitors to the Island that spend money on things like food and entertainment.”
The report is a profile of visitors to P.E.I. who purchase a seasonal second home on the Island, including details about the types of homes they purchase, how long they stay, how much they spend while here and other details about their demographics and activities.
The report also showed that 94 per cent of second-home owners had friends or family visit them in Prince Edward Island.
Another notable finding showed that only about 34 per cent of those who came to visit second-home owners would have considered coming to the Island had they not known someone here.
“As seasonal residents and, effectively, long-term visitors, second-home owners represent a unique and important segment of the province’s population,” said Dr. Susan Graham, Faculty Director of the TRC.
“They also act as tremendous ambassadors for Prince Edward
Island, by playing host to family and friends that come to visit.”
The survey showed that approximately two-thirds of second-home owners are Canadian and one-third American. Only 1.5 per cent of those surveyed were from another country.
Just over half of survey respondents indicated they have family ties to the province, with about one-third being former residents.
But Prince Edward Island’s appeal as a location for second-home owners appears to extend beyond family connections. Many respondents cited the province’s safe, quiet and relaxed environment as a reason for locating here, while others noted that they wanted a home near water.
Ten per cent indicated they decided to purchase a second home on the Island after visiting to the province as a tourist.
Second-home owners and their visitors participate in many activities while on the Island. Visiting a beach, lake or river is the most popular activity among both groups, followed by shopping for local crafts, antiques and souvenirs.
Several other activities were also very popular amongst these groups, including visiting a national or provincial park, hiking or walking, and going on a driving tour or sightseeing.
To see the full Tourism Research Centre report, visit http://bit.ly/SecondHomePEI.