© Submitted photo
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.”