Thursday, July 17, 2008

Again, No Suprise Here....

I wish it wasn't true but I'm afraid they are right and I suspect the numbers overall are down significantly and then we're going to see a lot of blaming going on with most of it at Government which I don't think is fair. Bottom line is I think that the operators themselves have to reinvest and focus on above average service levels and this is how we can start to get visitors coming back to PEI. There is nothing stronger than word of mouth and that usually starts with some experience going right or wrong and we all have to start trying to get it right if we expect to lure people here. Hopefully the next few weeks will get better for our operators but asking a tourist to bring their own towels seems a little out there...the Confederation Centre is a great model for PEI and David MacKenzie and his staff seem to be increasing revenue every year by reinvesting and trying new things...the new COWS factory being developed by Scott Linkletter will be a great addition to PEI...and I'm sure there are lots of other great opportunities but in the end it will all boil down to service and good value...
Cavendish tourism suffering

Thursday, July 17, 2008
CBC News
Despite fabulous weather for tourists this month, tourism operators in Cavendish say visitors are not coming to visit P.E.I.'s premier resort town.
Vacancy signs are a common sight throughout the town. Hotel, campground and shop owners are all suffering. Even tourists are noticing the difference.
"When we took a tour around the Island, we noticed a lot of the hotels and motels had vacancy signs on them," tourist Tony Mansfield, who was visiting from Ontario, told CBC News Wednesday.
"I always thought it was fully packed when we came here, so it was a little bit of a surprise to see that."
Most people in the area blame gas prices for the shortfall.
Rose Pescod was visiting from Edmonton, but grew up on the Island. Her family has been coming to Cavendish for many years, and she believes the closure of the popular Rainbow Valley theme park is a factor in keeping families away.
"It was one of the favourite spots for myself, my family and my brothers and sisters," said Pescod. "I'm from a family of 12 so there were a lot of people here at Rainbow Valley from my family."
Businesses cutting back
The slowdown has forced some significant cuts for some businesses. White Sands Cottages has cut its towel service to save a bit of money.
"What we ask people to do when we take their reservation, we ask them to bring their own towels and to take care of maintaining and cleaning," said Chris Opydo of White Sands Cottages.
Garth Matheson, who has worked in Cavendish every summer for the last 16 years, said he can't remember the last time the town was so empty.
"Over the years, I've talked to a lot of people from all over the world," said Matheson.
"Them times they used to come for a week, maybe two weeks. But now they're staying two, maybe three days. I have yet to hear anyone say this year that they're staying for a week."
The province has taken note of the problems in Cavendish. The Department of Tourism is in collecting hard numbers on how many people are staying in Cavendish and for how long.
A report outlining that information is due to be released next week.

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