In 2017, Canadians welcomed a record of 20.8 million international visitors to our shores. The tourism industry is vibrant from coast to coast to coast, as one in 10 jobs in Canada is associated with the visitor economy. Investing in tourism in both big cities and small towns throughout Atlantic Canada is essential to growing this important economic sector for Canadians. By investing in our tourism sector, we attract new visitors, grow businesses and create new ones, generating economic growth.
That’s why the Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are supporting the efforts of Golf PEI as it continues to market the impressive Island links, knowing that golf visitors are staying for multiple nights and contributing positively to the industry and the economy. A $284,397 investment over two years, through ACOA’s Business Development Program, will help the association focus on its strategic goal of promoting PEI as a premier golf destination in 2018 and 2019. The Government of Prince Edward Island is providing $228,000.
Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), together with the Honourable Chris Palmer, provincial Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, announced the funding today.
Golf PEI has had success in establishing a strong online, on-site, and TV presence to attract visitors from Canadian and North-Eastern United States markets. The organization intends to ramp up its digital marketing tactics and use the power of social media with golf and tourism influencers and advocates to draw further attention to PEI as a “must-play” golf destination.
This investment builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth through the Atlantic Growth Strategy by helping the tourism industry attract more visitors and create new jobs across the region. This bold new approach is in line with Canada’s Tourism Vision, which seeks to make Canada a top-ten global tourism destination by 2025.
“Tourism is about experience. It’s ever-evolving, it’s business, and as such, it needs to stay relevant. I am pleased to announce this investment in an organization that understands that progressive growth in any business involves strategic planning and a creative approach. Drawing golf-oriented visitors for extended stays on our golf haven is good for the economy island-wide.”
– Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown
“The golf industry continues to provide benefits to Islanders by attracting visitors from all over Canada and around the world to enjoy our world-class courses and hospitality. Golf PEI has proven incredibly valuable to the industry by creating a one-stop shop for golfers looking to plan a vacation and discover what Prince Edward Island has to offer. The additional marketing and on-line presence provided through this project will further improve our ability to attract those visitors.”
– The Honourable Chris Palmer, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism
“We have worked hard to make PEI one of the easiest places to plan and book a golf vacation with our knowledgeable reservation centre staff and our island-wide tee time booking engine. The travelling golfer can now also use Build a Golf Vacation on our site at www.golfpei.ca and actually plan and book their entire golf vacation including accommodations, tee times, spa services, tours and so much more. Our knowledgeable reservation centre staff is helping the travelling golfer book a memorable vacation, with a great chance they will have repeat visits and provide positive word-of-mouth marketing. With more than 400 fairways and a whole Island to experience, we are pleased and not surprised, to see a lot of repeat visitors.”
– Mark McLane, Executive Director, Golf PEI
- Golf PEI is a non-profit association of provincial golf industry stakeholders; it currently supports 18 member courses, yet promotes all of what Prince Edward Island has to offer as a golf destination to draw golfers from all over the world to more than 400 fairways in the Island.
- The Golf PEI website continues to see significant increases in hits with more than 116,000 unique visitors in 2017 and more than 440,000 page views. When the organization’s online tee time booking engine and its reservation centre software are factored in, the page views would be over half a million.
- Online Tee Time bookings on Golf PEI’s website rose nearly twenty percent from 2016 to 2017.
- The Reservation Centre booked more than 2,240 room nights in 2017 which was a fourth consecutive year of double digit growth.
- Golf PEI continues to grow its social media presence and has seen a 103% increase in Facebook engagement over the last two years, with over 98,000 engaged users.
- Golf PEI’s drone footage has drawn over 163,000 views view social media and its website.
Photo left to right: MP Sean Casey, Mark McLane, Paul MacCormack, Minister Chris Palmer