TIAPEI Highlights Successes of Vision 2021 Five-Year Tourism Strategy
Charlottetown, PE: As the new Tourism PEI Board of Directors begins the consultation process in the development of the next five-year Provincial Tourism Growth Strategy – Charting the Future: A Strategy to Accelerate Prince Edward Island Tourism Growth to 2025, the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island (TIAPEI) is highlighting the successes of Vision 2021.
Kevin Mouflier, TIAPEI CEO notes “Vision 2021 was comprised of five main Pillars – Leadership, Product Development, Marketing, Access and Labour and was truly an Industry led endeavor. Hundreds of Industry operators and stakeholders took part in the consultation process and had a voice in the strategy development and the recommendations contained in the final report. We have seen 5 years of solid growth in tourism and are very pleased with the milestones we have reached using those recommendations as a pathway.”
Mouflier points to the addition of numerous new festivals and events held across the Island, many taking place during the early and late shoulder season months during the past 4 years, including PEI Craft Beer Week, the Setting Day Culinary Festival, Seafood, Solstice & Suds, Stompin’ Tom Festival Series and the Mighty Island Chowder Trail, and the growth of existing events such as the Tyne Valley Rock the Boat Festival and Fall Flavours. Experiential tourism has expanded across PEI and includes soft adventure, farm to table, water and coastal based activities and cultural and indigenous opportunities. Members from Island Trails completed the Island Walk – a 700-kilometer hike around the PEI coastline in October, furthering the realization of Coastal Circuit.
Access and marketing have also reflected positive results. The Charlottetown Airport and Confederation Bridge experienced growth and cruise ship visitation at Port Charlottetown continues to rise. Marketing efforts have also been improved with more focus being placed on digital marketing and promotions.
Leadership has seen progress as amendments to the governing legislation and formalization of Tourism PEI as a Crown Corporation took place and the members of the newly appointed Board of Directors assumed their roles. Labour issues and professional development continue to be of vital importance. Some of the initiatives developed during the past four years include the Experience Specialist Certification Program, Entry Level Cook Training, and PEI BEST Service Excellence, as well as promotion of emerit Professional Certification and webinars and short courses on a various of timely topics.
“As with any long-term strategy, increases in visitation numbers and revenue growth are the ultimate goals.” states Mr. Mouflier. “I am very pleased to note that our visitation numbers rose from 1,483,587 in 2016 to an estimated 1,602,600 in 2019. During that same time frame, revenue increased from $432.9 million to an estimated $505.7 million in 2019. We are well within reach of our targeted goals set forth in Vision 2021, namely, 1.75 million visitors by 2021 (3% annually over the 2016-2021 period) and $510 million, representing an annual yield improvement cumulatively of 3.5%. Our tourism industry on PEI is strong, vibrant and driven by innovative, hardworking entrepreneurs and we have every right to be proud of our accomplishments.”
Tourism is the second largest industry on PEI that provides over 8,500 fulltime equivalent jobs for Islanders. It accounts for approximately $505 million in economic activity and 6.3% of GDP, the highest of any Canadian province.
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Kelly Corazza, Membership and Communications Manager
Tourism Industry Association of PEI