CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Tourism accounts fo 6.3 per cent of Prince Edward Island’s,GDP, the highest percentage of any province in Canada. That’s just one indicator of the industry’s importance, shared at the TIAPEI Conference and Awards Gala.
The Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island hosted its annual Tourism Excellent Awards Gala and full day Tourism Conference at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino on October 23r and 24t. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘The Future is Now’.
A total of 10 awards were handed out to dedicated tourism professionals and businesses who deliver a most memorable experience for the thousands of visitors to PEI year after year. The Premier’s Award was received by Kris and Melanie Taylor, owners of Harmony House. The recipient of the President’s Award was the Charlottetown Airport Authority and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Tourism winner was Jeff Noye, owner of Valley Pearl Oysters.
The full day conference began at 8:30 a.m. with registration, followed by the TIAPEI business meeting, which featured the audited financial report and the election of the county representatives to the board of directors. They are Stanley MacDonald, PEI Unique Custom Tours for Prince Country, Emily Smith, Victoria Playhouse for Queens County and Terry Nabuurs, Wheelhouse Restaurant for Kings County.
Kim Smith, industry human resources manager with TIAPEI gave a presentation on the Human Resources services and training programs offered through TIAPEI and John Hughes, director of special projects from the province gave an update on the Plastic Bag Reduction Act.
Alana Baker, director of government relations with the Hotel Association of Canada, the keynote presenter for the morning, shared the latest insights on Airbnb and the Sharing Economy: How to Achieve Fair Rules in Canada. Alana unveiled findings from recent HAC research and outlined the exponential growth of commercial operators to reach common ground on how we can all work together to protect communities, promote fairness and create a level playing field in PEI and across Canada.
During the luncheon, 10 newly emerit certified professionals were acknowledged for completion of online courses that enhanced their professionalism and careers within the tourism industry.
The afternoon presentations commenced with Ross Evans, vice-president of Redpoint Marketing, who gave an informative lecture on Advanced Social Media for Beginners, which included a list of Do’s and Don’ts of brand-building on social media. Insightful presentations followed from the Department of Tourism with an update on the 2019 Season and an introduction of Skal- the only professional organization promoting global tourism and friendship. It is also the only international group uniting all sectors of the travel and tourism industry. Skal International has 15,000 members in almost 400 clubs in 87 countries.
Tourism is the second-largest industry on Prince Edward Island. The industry provides 7,700 full time jobs for Islanders. It also accounts for $486 million in economic activity each year and 6.3 percent of GDP, the highest percentage of any province in Canada.