For Tourism, No Province Is an Island: Prince Edward Island’s Travel Markets Outlook to 2024

The Conference Board of Canada, 11 pages, February 18, 2021
Issue briefing
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This report contains a review of and outlook for tourism activity in Prince Edward Island, assessing the impact of COVID-19 and public health restrictions on tourism. It examines domestic, U.S., and overseas activity.

Document Highlights

  • Tourism is a critical industry in P.E.I.’s economy. It represents a much higher percentage of provincial GDP than the national average. However, after setting visitor records in recent years, the pandemic has brought tourism in the province to historic lows.
  • The Atlantic Bubble was essential in containing the virus in Prince Edward Island in 2020 and helped maintain some of the domestic tourism market last year.
  • However, the Bubble blocked visits from big Canadian markets such as Ontario and Quebec. As of August 2020, overnight stays from residents of Ontario and Quebec were down over 90 per cent.  
  • The provincial government has tried to support tourism operators through the pandemic, and continued support will help to avoid more permanent damage to the industry. More attention will likely be required in 2021 until a vaccine is widely distributed.
  • With COVID-19 rampant in Quebec, Ontario, and elsewhere, recovery of the tourism industry in P.E.I. will happen slowly. Total overnight visits will not reach pre-pandemic levels until 2023.

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