Canada Games is offering a trial run for an extended tourism season on PEI

“It’s fantastic for us to be able to make our destination accessible to so many people who may not have been here before,” said Susan Freeman, Managing Director of Meetings and Conventions PEI (Matthew Murnaghan/2023 PEI Canada Games – photo credit)

The Canada Games 2023 brought a tourism boost to Prince Edward Island in the middle of winter, to the satisfaction of tourism industry leaders.

Corryn Clemence, CEO of Prince Edward Island’s Tourism Industry Association, said the games are a test run of what a year-round tourism season on the island might look like.

“We talk a lot about winter tourism and extending the season as part of our tourism strategy,” she said. “So this is a really great opportunity to have some of our operators test this market and see what really works for them this time of year.”

Clemence said some tourism businesses that normally close during the winter months are fully open or experimenting with limited hours during the Games.

Laura Meader/CBC

Laura Meader/CBC

She said the region’s tourism companies and destination marketing organizations have been working with the Games organizers to promote activities during the Games.

“We’ve actually worked really well together over the past few months…to say, ‘These are the events and activities that are coming with Canada Games, and here are some opportunities for you,'” she said.

Looping in Games visitors

Meetings and Conventions PEI executive director Susan Freeman said they have been working hard to inform visitors of what is open during the Games.

“We want to make sure all of those front desk staff know what people are asking and what to do,” Freeman said. “We don’t want anyone not to know what activities are going on.”

Freeman says the games are “a dream come true” because they demonstrate PEI’s year-round potential.

“It helps everyone in our province if we have groups 12 months of the year,” Freeman said.

“This is fantastic for us to open up our destination to so many individuals who may not have been here before and hopefully we will see what a great place this is to bring their board or association back.”

We want to ensure the best possible experience and encourage all of these visitors to come back. – Corryn Clemence

As the games draw to a close on March 5, both Clemence and Freeman said they hope the impact will last for years to come.

“We want to ensure the best possible experience and encourage all of these visitors to come back,” said Clemence.

“I think the ability to showcase the best of what Prince Edward Island has to offer today will help when visiting again later.”


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