Editor: P.E.I. is a great place for those of us who like to live here. We are at the gates of the new tourist season. Seemingly, each year fewer tourists than the year before are visiting us. Then our handlers go into overdrive and fork out a lot of money for some entertainment event, in hope that this will bring in the tourist. This effort does not seem to provide the returns we hope for.
What we need is a comprehensive review: 1. who are the people who come here; 2, what are they looking for; 3. when they leave, are they satisfied with the time they spent here?
Every restaurant owner will tell you that the least expensive diner is the return diner. If a restaurant constantly has to advertise, because once a diner ate there, he/she will never return. Sooner or later it will be a closed restaurant.
We should take account of whether we want to be a playground for rich tourists or family tourists? Rich tourists are few and far between. For family tourism, we are expensive. It is cheaper for a family to fly to Europe from Western Canada than come to P.E.I. from, say, Toronto. Most of our “tourism” related programs are overpriced and overtaxed. We have New York prices for mom and pop services. In case you think I am being critical, I am not. I would just like us to pour clean water into our glasses and become a place where people love to come and spend the remaining few “entertainment” dollars with us.
Clearly, we are a golfers paradise, can we build on that asset? We have wonderful ceilidhs, bluegrass, and Scottish dancers/sport. Do a better job with native celebrations, pow wows. Organize an international folk singing/dancing competition. The lobster dinners are great!
Lets count our tourism assets and build on them. We do have a lot to be grateful and we can help bring dollars to P.E.I.
Judith L. Bezeredi,