Meetings and Conventions Prince Edward Island has launched a new campaign called the "double bubble" promotion to attract Atlantic Canadian groups to the Island.
Incentives include double discounts on rooms, up to four Canada's Food Island gift cards worth $200, up to four complimentary Northumberland Ferries passes, and $200 vouchers for rounds of golf — all with the aim of attracting organizations in the Atlantic region to hold smaller meetings on the Island between now and the end of December.
"We know how important meetings and conventions are to the economy of Prince Edward Island," says Susan Freeman, executive director of Meetings and Conventions P.E.I.
"It's every part of the economy: retail, guest speakers, transportation providers, entertainment, experience providers, accommodations, restaurants."
Freeman said meetings and conventions on Prince Edward Island were down 90 per cent this year.
"We have been very fortunate that all of those meetings that were booked in 2020 and '21 have moved to future years, but we want to fill in those gaps and make sure that we can get some Atlantic Canadians, smaller groups to P.E.I. this year if possible."
'Help us compete'
Freeman said the double bubble campaign began a couple of weeks ago and so far is generating interest.
"It's just a way to give a little bit of promotion to help us compete, because it will be very competitive over the next few years to get groups in Atlantic Canada and across Canada to come to P.E.I."
Freeman said Meetings and Conventions P.E.I. sends out requests for proposals from potential meeting planners to their partners, who are all local groups such as Golf P.E.I. Those local organizations then send back their proposals if they can host a meeting or convention and what they can offer.
While Meetings and Conventions P.E.I. has hosted virtual events during the COVID-19 pandemic, Freeman said some meeting planners are holding back on organizing online conferences and hybrid events (those with a mix of both virtual and in-person elements).
Conference planners are instead waiting until they can hold events in person, but want to make sure delegates feel safe attending conventions face-to-face during the pandemic, Freeman said. Because of this, she hopes Atlantic Canadian groups will choose P.E.I. as a meeting destination.
"We've been very safe in Prince Edward Island, so that's very important and we'll continue to promote that."
More from CBC P.E.I.