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UPEI's Tourism Research Centre releases study on Quebec visitors

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The Tourism Research Centre (TRC) at UPEI's School of Business today announced the release of a report profiling Quebec visitors to P.E.I. during the summer of 2007.

Results show Quebec providing the third-highest volume of visitors after Ontario and the Maritime provinces. According to the data, visitors from Quebec tend to take shorter holidays than other non-Maritime visitors, but spend an impressive 64.5 per cent of nights on P.E.I. In fact, P.E.I. is the primary destination for 76 per cent of Quebecois visitors.

'This report gives us an excellent profile of our visitors from Quebec and allows us to compare and contrast them with visitors from other markets,' says Dr. Sean Hennessey, Faculty Director of the TRC. 'There are really two types of Quebec visitors: one is the touring visitor, and the other is the camping family. Although camping is occasionally associated with a budget holiday, Quebec visitors have a high per-person per-night expenditure level, second only after our international visitors. These visitors are wonderful for many industries on the Island as they spend money on a variety of things and don't necessarily stick to the traditional ‘touristy' activities.

'Quebec visitors are interesting in that they tend to ‘make their own fun,'' he adds. 'Participation in outdoor sports and activities that are individual or family in nature is far above average. It's important to the tourist industry to have these types of visitors. Like our previously studied Maritime and Ontario visitors, the Quebecois are quite happy with their experiences on Prince Edward Island These visitors are the most likely to visit all regions on the Island. It is refreshing to see that visitors do want to explore the whole Island and feel it is a worthwhile activity.'

Some highlights of the Quebec report include:

  • Quebec visitors accounted for 13.5 per cent of the Island's total visitors during the study period in 2007. This was the Island's third-largest market of origin after the Maritimes and Ontario. The Quebec market provides 27.2 per cent of the visitors who came to P.E.I. from outside the Maritimes.
  • Similar to the 60 per cent return visitation rate for visitors from other Canadian provinces, 56 per cent of Quebec visitors are return visitors. In terms of party composition, 32 per cent of Quebec visitors were travelling as a family with children, similar to the ratio from the rest of Canada (34 per cent), and 23 per cent visit the Island mainly to visit friends or relatives, identical to the ratio for the rest of Canada.
  • Compared to other visitors, Quebec visitors are travelling on relatively short trips (9.3 nights versus 12.2 nights for Canadian visitors from outside the Maritimes). However, P.E.I. is the main destination for 76 per cent of these visitors with stays of 6.0 nights (64.5 per cent of nights away from home). Both figures are the highest from any market, with the exception of the Maritimes.
  • In total, 35 per cent of visitors from Quebec spend at least one night in the region known as 'Anne's Land.' In contrast, only 22 per cent of travel parties from Quebec spent a night in Charlottetown, the lowest level recorded of all visitors when analyzed by place of origin. In terms of total nights spent in the regions, 45 per cent of Quebec visitors' total nights are spent in Anne's Land, the highest of any origin market; and 15 per cent are in Charlottetown, the lowest of any origin market.
  • Quebec visitors are more likely to spend at least one night in most tourist regions than visitors from any other North American origin market.
  • Quebec visitors like to camp; they have, by far, the highest percentage of campers of any of the origin markets. In total, 37 per cent of Quebec visitors spend at least one night at a campground compared to 9 to 22 per cent for other markets. As for total nights, 35 per cent of them are spent staying at a campground. Again, this is by far the highest of the various origin markets.
  • Sightseeing and driving tours are the leading activity for Quebec visitors, although the participation rate is much lower when compared to other non-regional visitors.
  • Quebecois visited national and provincial parks, shopped for antiques and souvenirs, visited historic and cultural attractions, and visited Anne of Green Gables attractions at average rates.
  • Quebec visitors participated in outdoor sports and activities at above average rates (20 per cent). They attended fairs and festivals, played golf, and attended lobster dinners at below average rates. In addition, they attended live theatre (only 23 per cent attended) and visited bars and pubs (10 per cent versus 26 per cent for visitors from outside the Maritimes) at well below average rates.
  • In terms of demographics, a leading 36 per cent of Quebec travel parties are headed by someone aged 35 to 54. This is very similar to the average for other Canadian visitors (34 per cent). However, household incomes of Quebec visitors tend to lag; only 19 per cent of Quebec visitors have annual household incomes of $125,000 or more, compared to 30 per cent of visitors from other Canadian provinces outside the Maritimes.
  • Quebec visitors appeared to be very satisfied with their vacation on the Island. Their trip ratings were very similar to the ratings provided by other visitors in all categories, but they gave P.E.I. the highest ratings (3.8 out of 5) for the prices of goods and services.

The report is the fourth in a series of in-depth profiles based on comprehensive data previously released in the report 'Overall Results of the 2007 Exit Survey.' The data is for the main tourism season of June 27 to September 30, 2007, and was collected as visitors departed P.E.I. at the Confederation Bridge, Charlottetown Airport, and Wood Islands Ferry (seasonally).

Data is being collected for a full year, and the survey is being managed by the TRC on behalf of Tourism PEI. The Exit Survey gathers information on main purpose of the trip, length of stay, areas visited, accommodation used, size and composition of travel party, holiday activities, visitor spending, customer satisfaction, visitation data, place of origin, and traveller demographics. This report specifically compares the similarities and differences between visitors from Ontario and visitors from other areas. The results are based on 3,173 completed surveys collected from June 27 to September 30, 2007.

Over the next seven weeks a series of reports profiling different segments of P.E.I. visitors based on origin, travel party type, repeat visitation, and other characteristics will be released. All reports are or will be available on the TRC's website at

Further information about the report can be obtained from the Tourism Research Centre, School of Business, University of PEI, at (902) 566-6096 or


Anna MacDonald
Media Relations and Communications, Integrated Promotions

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