Winter tourism marketing 'starting to pay off' on P.E.I.

The Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I., says it makes sense to invest resources into promoting P.E.I. winters.  (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
The Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I., says it makes sense to invest resources into promoting P.E.I. winters. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

Some Charlottetown tourism operators had a big month in December — a sign, they say, that P.E.I. is developing into a year-round tourism destination.

Discover Charlottetown has spent several years promoting Charlottetown as a winter getaway.

They've worked with the city and businesses to create a Christmas look and promote events to attract visitors, said executive director Heidi Zinn.

"It's starting to pay off. Our Victorian Christmas market, we saw 5,000 people in town that weekend, we sold hundreds of hotel packages."

Luke Thompson, guest services manager at the Holman Grand Hotel in Charlottetown, said it was their busiest December on record, and they're looking forward to welcoming another influx of tourists for the Canada Games starting next month.

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

"It's very promising and very motivating going forward after, you know, some difficult years."

Summer is still the biggest season for tourism in P.E.I.

Overall numbers for June and July last year broke records. The Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. said when final figures are tallied, it could end up being the biggest year on record.

CEO Corryn Clemence said it makes sense to invest more resources promoting P.E.I. winters.

"It helps with employment, we can keep people employed year-round, it's great for the economy, and we have a beautiful destination year-round."

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

Brittany Miranda, a tourist from Toronto who was visiting P.E.I. over the holidays, agrees.

"The way the town was dressed up for Christmas is really sweet, it just feels very charming. It's just a small town but it's quite engaging."