Tourism marketing ignores Americans for much too long

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David Goldstein, president of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, gives a presentation Wednesday at the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. (TIAPEI) annual conference at Red Shores Race Track and Casino.

Neighbours will cross border if they get just a little push from friendly Canucks

It was quite a surprise to hear the Canadian tourism industry has never made a concerted effort to market in the United States on a national scale. Even more alarming is the slashing of tourism marketing in the U.S. by the Canadian government in recent years.

The U.S. has approximately 320,000,000 residents and is the world’s third-largest nation by population. Americans are our biggest tourism base so they must come north by default since Canada seems uninterested in attracting our friends to cross a friendly border for holidays. Tourism numbers in Canada and P.E.I. are falling and the reason is fairly obvious.

The president of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada spoke in Charlottetown this week and said the short-term priority at boosting tourism is targeting Americans. Might we add that it should be the long-term, main term and every term priority. Canada was once a global leader in international tourism but has reached a point where 80 per cent of tourism revenues are from domestic travellers. Why have Americans lost interest in our national parks, scenery, golf and other attractions? Marketing in the U.S. should never have been cut but should have been increased. What a waste.

Many Americans can’t afford to travel overseas and with the more attractive Canadian dollar, should be inclined to come north if we can give them just a little push. TIAC is willing to put up $35 million over three years to market in the U.S. and is hoping Ottawa will match that. It would be among the best investments the federal government could make.


Weekend thoughts


Suspended Senator Mike Duffy is an ex-journalist who keeps on giving back to his former profession. Last night, CBC’s Fifth Estate devoted its show to Sen. Duffy and the Senate expenses scandal. Host Linden MacIntyre said the ‘old Duff’ thought he understood the game of politics, “until he started playing it and learned the lesson of a lifetime.” This coming Friday, March 14 at the Charlottetown Curling Club, Halifax columnist Dan Leger is holding a book launch to promote his book “Duffy: Stardom to Senate to Scandal.” Leger suggests that Sen. Duffy vowed last August in Cavendish if he ever faced trial he would bring down high-ranking members of the Conservative party who would be called to testify.


The City of Summerside and the Community of Bedeque are displaying great neighbourly co-operation in the latest Kraft Hockeyville competition. The top 16 finalists will be announced tonight during the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. If Bedeque makes the list, everyone is encouraged to vote as much as possible at for the 48 hours from 11 p.m. Saturday, March 8 to 11 p.m. Monday, March 10. The Bedeque Rec Centre is in need of some major renovations and should Bedeque advance, it could win up to $100,000 for rink upgrades and could also host a NHL pre-season game. Bedeque would partner with Summerside, which has agreed to host the NHL game in Eastlink Arena at Credit Union Place.


The chickadee world is in turmoil. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in New York, warming temperatures are pushing two chickadee species northward at a rate that matches warming winter temperatures. Carolina chickadees from the south meet and interbreed with Black-capped chickadees from the north. The new study finds that this hybrid zone has moved northward at a rate of 0.7 miles per year over the last decade. Hybrid chickadees have lower breeding success and survival than either of the pure species, creating a seven-mile war zone of chickadee carnage. Is this a sign of an Avian Apocalypse?

Organizations: Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Canucks, NHL CBC Charlottetown Curling Club Kraft Hockeyville Bedeque Rec Centre Credit Union Place.The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Geographic location: United States, Canada, P.E.I. Charlottetown Ottawa Summerside New York

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Recent comments

  • Joe in Maryland
    March 09, 2014 - 16:01

    As an American that truly loves PEI (we even looked at real estate at one time), I will say that the number one challenge for PEI is not awareness, but its relative isolation. While recognizing that that has its benefits, when the airfare from my home airports around Washington, DC averages $1,000 during the summer (we could go to much of Europe and some places in Asia for the same price), for an 850 mile flight (a shorter distance than Miami, New Orleans, or Minneapolis), we have to *really* love the place to continuously come back. (I am lucky enough to be a private pilot, so we have flown ourselves four times, and driven - 22 hours over 2 days each way - once.) I have dozens of friends that I have had conversations with about a joint vacation to PEI, but the logistics prove too daunting each time.

  • Garth Staples
    March 09, 2014 - 08:17

    The mandate of the Atlantic Tourism Marketing Plan, supported by the Federal Govt, was to market the four Atlantic Provinces to the USA with programme support to some British tour operators. Does this cooperative programme still exist and what is its mandate in 2014? PEI in the early 1980s embarked on TV advertising in the Boston market. It was highly successful. What has happened to this programme? Why a cheap a shot at the Federal Govt? The question should be, how much is the PEI Dept of Tourism contributing?