Prince Edward Island’s tourism industry continued to struggle in July, according to the latest tourism indicators released today.
The Island is seeing declines in visitation from two key markets, Ontario and New Brunswick.
“Despite a few bright spots, most of our priority markets have not been performing to the end of July,” said John-Anthony Langdale, chairman of the Tourism Advisory Council.
“We continue to work closely with the department as it implements the annual plan with a focus on conversion in our short-haul markets. Major events and their associated
marketing hold promise for August and September with such events as Old Home Week, the Atlantic Canada Air Show, P.E.I. Jazz and Blues Festival, Fall Flavours and the Shellfish Festival, to name a few.”
Numbers for air traffic, total golf rounds played and National Park visitation are all up compared to July of last year.
The drop in visitation from Ontario and New Brunswick all negatively impacted fixed-roof accommodations, campgrounds and the Confederation Bridge.
Ontario visitation was down nearly 10 per cent in July while visitation from New Brunswick was down nearly seven per cent.
“Our overall visitation numbers remain strong despite weakness in both the Ontario and New Brunswick markets,” says Tourism Minister Robert Henderson.
“It’s difficult to speculate as to why these important markets are showing a decline, but the competitiveness of the industry, new rules for duty-free purchases in the United States and economic uncertainty are all likely factors. Regardless, we remain confident that August and September will show improvements in overall visitation.”
The July tourism indicators show bridge traffic down by 4.4 per cent.
Air traffic is up by 2.6 per cent.
Ferry traffic is down by 1.1 per cent.
Total golf rounds played increased by 7.8 per cent.
Meanwhile at Parks Canada, visitation to the P.E.I. National Park was up 10.8 per cent while visits to Green Gables was down by 7.5 per cent.
Visits to historic Province House plummeted by 24.5 per cent.
Parks West saw a decline of 1.0 per cent while Parks East had an increase in traffic of 5.8 per cent.
When looking at fixed roof accomodations, room-nights sold increased in the North Cape Coastal Drive.
But were down in all other coastal drives including Green Gables, Red Sands, Charlottetown and Points East.