2014 shaping up to be a banner year for tourism in P.E.I., minister says

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The cover of the 2014 Prince Edward Island Visitors' Guide.

An earlier than normal start to the provincial tourism marketing campaign is believed to be responsible for a substantial increase in traffic on the Tourism P.E.I. website.

Visitation is up close to 50 per cent compared to January 2013.

There were also noticeable increases in Google searches and bookings through the provincial online reservation system.

Tourism Minister Robert Henderson says it’s safe to say that the province’s earlier than normal start to the marketing campaign and 2014 themed contests are seeing positive results.

“And while we can’t guarantee that major increases in web visitation will ultimately result in an increase in the number of visitors to the Island this summer, it is a positive indication that our marketing efforts are causing people to have a serious look at what we have to offer potential visitors in 2014,” said Henderson.

Normally the province’s marketing campaign starts in early March, but additional funding for marketing from P.E.I. 2014 this year and a concerted effort to promote the 2014 celebrations helped get the campaign off to an earlier start.

In total there were a record 177,247 visits to the website in January 2014 compared to 119,685 the previous January. There was also a noticeable increase in the number of people who searched for information on tourism on Prince Edward Island and arrived at the Tourism P.E.I. website. Last January, 61,862 people searched Google and arrived at the Tourism P.E.I. website. That number increased to 95,834 this past January, an increase of about 55 per cent.

There were also increases in the number of Facebook likes and bookings through the provincial online reservation system Book P.E.I.

“I’m way ahead of where I was this time last year in terms of reservations, and I’ve never seen so many reservations this early in the year,” said Robert Jourdain, owner of Little York Bed and Breakfast.

“I think the earlier than normal start to the marketing campaign, the contests and the additional investment in tourism marketing for 2014 are paying early dividends. For me, this is a very positive sign that we are headed in the right direction for a busy 2014.”

Organizations: Tourism P.E.I., Google

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • From away
    February 17, 2014 - 19:12

    Get back to promoting "Anne". I live here and have different members of our family visit from away every summer. They go to Confed centre to see Anne of Green Gables, (this year they saw "Anne and Gilbert", just as good.) As well, they have stayed overnight at Dalvay by the Sea, (featured in Road to Avonlea). They have visited other "Anne" landmarks . I hope the province is right, that our bookings are up for the summer, we need it. But put some of your advertising dollars on promoting "Anne" and all that goes with it.

  • yeah right
    February 17, 2014 - 07:53

    I agree with Jackofalltrades. Same rhetoric every year. This year there will be a lot more $$ spent to celebrate the 'big party' govt is throwing. And if they do not come to the party, then what???

  • A Tourist
    February 17, 2014 - 06:17

    I use to visit PEI every year but not anymore the prices there are to expensive I hear the tourists are gouged to death with high prices expecially the fuel there is way to high,and the tourist operating accommodations are taxing us tourists to the mighty dollar,we will travel elsewhere with our families Thanks PEI but no thanks.

  • Jackofalltrades
    February 16, 2014 - 11:37

    Ho-hum same story every year...this year is going to be better than the previous year...this year is going to be a banner year, etc. Just because people are looking doesn't mean they are going to buy or in this case going to come. It's no different than someone walking in and looking through a department store or grocery store but leaves without buying anything. Save the rhetoric until after the tourism season when there is a better idea of how things went rather than empty promises and hopes.

    • barb star
      February 17, 2014 - 02:41

      Terrific job being done to promote the Island! Nice to see increased level of interest. Optimism and a positive attitude are great attributes. We'll be there from BC...As will several of our Friends!

    • don
      February 17, 2014 - 09:17

      what free gifts are they passing out now?