Thursday, July 30, 2009

July Down 20%.... "just ask the operators"

According to the article below July and August represents 50% of the tourism room sales... well if you ask around most operators will tell you they are off by about 20% in July and their bookings for August are off a similar amount... now it's one thing to be "cautiously optimistic" but we have to be realistic as well... our whole "tourism product" probably needs a re-think and a good start would be a bigger push on our "beaches"... Frank McKenna tells the story when he was first Premier of New Brunswick he spent his first term trying to get people to stay in New Brunswick as they travelled to PEI so they promoted a bunch of local attractions and it didn't work... so they sent people to the PEI “ferry terminal” and surveyed to find out why people were choosing to go to PEI and the answer was the "beaches"... so the following year New Brunswick drove a lot of their advertising into promoting what little beaches they had and according to Frank it worked... I hosted a conference here last year and the group had a night off so I offered up theatre passes and dinner reservations and only 15 % took me up on the offer... the next day I asked the whole meeting what everyone else did and over 50% said they "went to the beach and dipped their feet in the water"... they told me they had dinner and theatre at home but "no beaches"... my guess is had we spent the money promoting our "beaches" rather than the golf courses we would have got a better return... advertising works if you have the product and we have to follow it up with "over the top" service... in any event let's all hope that the rest of the season shapes up a little better for our tourist operators...
P.E.I. tourism down 13.6% in June
Thursday, July 30, 2009
CBC News
Room nights sold were down significantly on P.E.I. in June compared to last year, but the province's director of strategy said it's too early to panic.
A Wednesday news release showed room sales down 13.6 per cent, but Chris Jones, Tourism PEI director of strategy, evaluation and industry investment, said June only represents about 11 per cent of the year's room sales.
"It's still very early in the season to draw any conclusions, as the next few months can typically be busy ones for the tourism industry," said Jones.
"We are not alone in our challenges, as the tourism industry across Canada is facing similar situations at the moment. We remain cautiously optimistic; with all the activities, festivals and events in the upcoming months, P.E.I. will continue to attract visitation."
Airport traffic, which had been propping up tourism for the last few years with regular increases, fell 10 per cent. Traffic over the Confederation Bridge and on Northumberland Ferries were up marginally.
The province's North Shore, known as the Green Gables region, took the worst hit, with room nights sold down 24.8 per cent.
Visitation from the Maritimes accounted for the bulk of the drop in sales. Sales to people from Ontario actually rose.
The months of July and August typically account for close to half of tourism room sales on the Island.


Anonymous said...

Frank also developed quality golf courses in NB to attract tourists driving thru NB on the way to PEI. And, he brought in Russ Howard to drive popularity of Moncton golf.

It isn't all Island golf promo fault, Mr Banks. There is a balance...but the proper level is something that few agree on. We are attracting fewer 2 day campers, but the Island is a known golf destination.

It's the economy,...really.

Anonymous said...

I like Tim's idea of more promotion of the beaches. PEI has the best beaches anywhere.

And don't get me started on the mumble jumble of 'Government Speak' from the Provinical Director of Tourism Disaster Chris Jones. His 'strategy' in th earticle seems to be "we're screwed just like everyone else, so that's okay."

Time to clear house in tourism of the pathetic seat warmers costing us tax $$.

martin said...

I think part of the problem are the accomodation prices in PEI. Hotels and B and Bs have become unaffordable for most. Much better value to be found in Quebec and Maine.