WELLINGTON – Sept. 8, 2017 – Fourteen representatives of PEI tourism businesses, community organizations, cultural events and Acadian municipalities will be heading off on an exploratory mission to the Magdalen Islands Sept. 19-21 to hopefully get inspired in the creation of new tourism experiences and attractions on the Island.
Gilles Arsenault, tourism development officer with RDÉE Prince Edward Island who is coordinating the mission, explains that the Magdalen Islands are primarily known for the great tourism experiences they offer visitors. He feels PEI should follow in its footsteps.
“Our Island could fairly easily offer visitors an opportunity to participate actively in a much wider variety of authentic experiences. The Acadian and Francophone regions of the Island are in an especially favorable position to get involved in this type of development since they already have a very vibrant culture and can serve customers in Canada’s two official languages,” he says.
This mission is a follow-up to a tourism forum held last spring in Abram-Village. Several Magdalen tourism operators had participated to make presentations about their attractions and experiences. Now, the Island delegates will be able to see these attractions first-hand.
“We’re also looking to broaden the range of participants in tourism development. We would really like to include school-community centers and municipalities since they could contribute much to and profit a lot from such an endeavor,” adds Arsenault. “We also want to promote a partnership approach between the various stakeholders.”
He adds that the timing for tourism development in Acadian communities could not be more perfect since the World Acadian Congress is being held on the Island in 2019. About 10,000 visitors are expected to attend.
Two of the three days of the mission are reserved for travelling to and from the destination, via van and ferry. Sept. 20 will therefore be the big day of exploration.
For of all, in the morning, all the delegates will visit the Centre culturel Havre-Aubert, the Musée de la mer and the Site de La Côte. After lunch at Gourmande de nature Restaurant, they’ll head off to Grosse-Île where they’ll visit the CAMI museums and bakery, the Auberge Salicorne and the Centre d’interprétation du phoque. They’ll also participate in discussion and networking events with various business people and municipal and community representatives during the day. In the afternoon, some of the delegates will instead visit locations geared specifically to their sector (culture, culinary or nature).
This mission is a joint initiative of RDÉE Prince Edward Island and the Evangeline Tourism Association, carried out in collaboration with Tourisme Îes de la Madeleine. This project is supported financially by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.