Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just Call Me Stupid... and wrong!

Those tourists certainly fooled me, here I was going about my business thinking I had absorbed some of the great instincts from my action heroes like Harry MacLauchlan and Wendell Barbour. It seemed to me they could always smell a trend by observing the conversations around the countryside. So once I started noticing fewer tourists I decided to ask just about everyone in the industry that I came in contact with how our season was shaping up. It didn't seem to matter who I spoke to whether it was a waitress, gas attendant, greens keeper, hotel clerk... everyone strongly suggested that the numbers were down. "People don't have money to travel, gas is too high, there are no Americans cars, the weather was cold,” etc... somehow Wendell and Harry could always add all this up in their head and they didn't need any high paid spin doctors to arrive at a sound conclusion on what kind of year tourism was heading for. After reading the following story it's quite obvious that I don't possess any of these skill because I could have sworn our tourism was down...and I'm just glad our Tourism Department has confirmed that I'm wrong..
P.E.I. tourism numbers strong in June
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
CBC News
Occupancy rates on the North Cape Coastal Drive rose from 29.8 to 39.6 per cent. (CBC)
Early indicators on the P.E.I. tourism season show occupancy rates up slightly.
The results suggest the Island may be able to weather some difficult market conditions, including a high Canadian dollar and unprecedented gas prices.
"We are pleased with the numbers and realize that with the high fuel costs and rising Canadian dollar, the industry has been faced with some uncontrollable challenges," Tourism Minister Valerie Docherty said in a news release Tuesday.
"The feedback our department has been receiving from operators has been generally positive."
Results are mixed across the province, with the west generally doing better than the rest. Overall occupancy rates rose to 37.0 per cent in June 2008 from 34.9 per cent in June 2007. The actual number of visitors was down slightly on the month.
Air travel continues to be a strength, with a 12 per cent increase in traffic. Bridge traffic was down slightly, and the ferry from Nova Scotia suffered a 10 per cent drop in traffic compared with June of last year.
While the June numbers are promising, the tourism industry makes a large proportion of its money in July and August. No numbers are yet available, but some anecdotal evidence suggests July has not been as strong.


Rob Lantz said...

I just spent a few days with my family at Marco Polo Land in Cavendish. Last night the staff were busy setting up dozens of temporary sites as the campground is overbooked for the next week.

Anonymous said...

Tim -
As a Tourism Operator in Charlottetown I can tell you the numbers are down and you are not stupid.
Just b/c the report says it's up in June is in no way an indicator of what is currently going awry on this "gentle island".
Is the Liberal gov't fudging the numbers? Not yet, but I tell you that tourism is definetely down 10-20% versus last year.
The most ironic thing is all those operators who were calling for David Carver's head last year for his July concert are the ones wimpering this year while there is no one here.
-concerned in Charlottetown

Anonymous said...

Tourism is up for those who offer a unique product and create new ideas.

For those who offer the same old boring product year after year, tourism is down.

Thats the result of my calculations after speaking with government, and a lot of operators in different industries.

Anonymous said...

The fact the accomodations are up a few percentage points does not neccessarily imply that these folk are spending more money, (golfing more, eating out more, shopping more etc.) They might just be laying around our beutiful beaches. I would certainly hate to base all of my tourism numbers on this fact. I mean in most of our grand hotels 1 or 2 extra rooms rented in June would bump them up a few points compared to last year.

Just because you saw me at the mall today, doesn't mean I spent any money... right? I think your spot on Tim

Anonymous said...

Ya, your right.

People come to PEI and sit in hotels, then go to the beach. Then they leave.

The whole trip costs them absolutely nothing since they "don't spend any money". Not even gas cuz on PEI gas runs via the air.

Anonymous said...

I think it depends who you talk to. I tried to book some tickets for the anne and gilbert show last week and was unable to get any for the day i wanted. When I asked them about it they said their numbers were up 35% and it was mostly americans

Anonymous said...

I think tourism is down and I think alot of it is because people are being drained of every cent on the island...the prices...the tax on tax crap that goes on here...and the overall economy. I certainly find it not as congested in the city..or the beaches.

Just my opinion from someone who "comes from away" (that is so lame)...nothing like being labelled on this wonderful island.