Tourism P.E.I. is already looking past the busy summer season and eyeing the fall.
The province’s fall promotional blitz has kicked off in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with TV and digital ads, as well as billboards in Toronto and Montreal.
The marketing campaign will run until mid-October. Tourism P.E.I’s marketing director, Brenda Gallant, says the focus will continue to be tapping into the pent-up demand for travel after the lifting of most COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
“We really want to focus on that season extension,” she said.
“We know that we get some great visitation in the summer months. We will not stop advertising for summer months because you want that to continue.
“However, the strong focus [is] on getting people to come beyond that traditional season. And we’ve seen great strides in that over the last 10, 15 years.”
Gallant said the summer has been going so well that Tourism P.E.I. dialled back on the advertising in July and August, with accommodations filling up to capacity.
She said the industry has so far been very resilient despite labour shortages. She expects that to still be the case in the fall, though the season may be more challenging for tourism operations with students going back to school.
Fall scenery and flavours
For visitors, there’s no shortage of things to do in the fall, according to the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I.
“We’ve got the P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival, we’ve got Fall Flavours — there’s so many great things that happen in the fall,” said CEO Corryn Clemence.
“We’ve got the fall cruise season that will be ramping up and we know that’s busy. So … there’s activities taking place to really help stir that demand.”
Gallant said some visitors may prefer to travel in the fall because it’s less busy, with fewer families around as school resumes, so trying to capture more of an “adult market” becomes the aim.
“Golf. Outdoor adventure is really big. Fall foliage,” she said.
Marketers will be touting “crisp-air, beautiful-scenery, refreshing-wellness type of activities, and getting people to think about, you know, they may have come already in the summer months, they need to come back in the fall months.”