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Tourism operators hoping for a boost in numbers of visitors for 2014 celebrations got some encouraging news today when the May statistics were released.
Traffic over the Confederation Bridge and room nights sold in the month of May this year increased by almost 10 per cent over the same period in 2013.
The Confederation Bridge reported a 9.2 per cent increase in non-resident vehicle traffic compared to May of last year. There was an increase of 8.1 per cent in the total number of room nights sold in roofed accommodations. The Charlottetown Airport reported a 3.5 per cent increase in passenger traffic.
Site nights sold at local campgrounds dropped by 5.5 per cent and non-member rounds at provincial golf courses fell by 16 per cent. The Tourism Department blames those number on relatively poor weather in May.
John-Anthony Langdale, chair of the Tourism Advisory Council, says it is too early to make any predictions about the success of the P.E.I. 2014 Inc. celebrations, but is encouraged by the statistics so far.
“The council has approved five percent target for growth in the tourism industry in 2014 and we are well on our way to that goal," he said in the release. "We remain confident additional visitors will be drawn to the province this year thanks to the 2014 celebrations and our strong traditional offerings like beautiful scenery, beaches, golf, and culinary.”
“The May statistics are very encouraging but we must continue to work hard to ensure the success of the 2014 tourism season and the sesquicentennial celebrations,” said Tourism Minister Robert Henderson in a release. “At the same time we remain optimistic that our integrated tourism marketing campaign combined with all the events and activities surrounding the 2014 celebrations and noticeable increases in meetings and conventions will lead to an overall increase in the tourism industry this year.”
The statistics are provided to the province by individual tourism operators and are compiled by staff in the Department of Tourism and Culture.