(Charlottetown, PE, February 8th, 2012) – A number of traditional tourism organizations are calling for new partners in other businesses and sectors to participate in the creation of unique packages to appeal to the meetings and conventions market. Meetings and Conventions PEI, in cooperation with the Cavendish, Beaches and the Dunes Shores Tourism Association, the Tourism Industry Association of PEI and the Tourism Advisory Council will be hosting a business-to-business marketplace on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 to do just that.
“We are pleased to work with our partners in tourism to broaden the invitation to the greater business community to develop new product offerings,” said Don Cudmore, Executive Director, TIAPEI. “This event will take place just prior to our Annual Tourism Conference and it’s a great fit with our conference theme of Building Connections.”
The agenda for the afternoon will include presentations by the Tourism Advisory Council on Strategy 2015, and, in particular, the vision for the meetings and conventions market as a key demand generator for PEI. Meetings and Conventions PEI will set the stage with an overview on the market and how businesses can work with them to attract meetings and conventions. This segment will culminate with a keynote address by Lynn Buckley, Lead Consultant with Agenda Managers from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her firm specializes in meeting planning and she will showcase trends, best practices and the benefits of partnerships in the meetings business.
The rest of the afternoon will be a series of eight-minute pre-scheduled, business-to-business appointments. Accommodations, tour operators and event venues will have the opportunity to meet and discuss partnerships with attractions, artisans, entertainers and more. Organizers are working hard to attract businesses that may not have seen themselves in the tourism or meetings market, but who have a product that might be a fit. Matthew Jelley, President of the Cavendish, Beaches and the Dune Shores Tourism Association commented on the event, “Our region has been working to identify opportunities in the meetings market and to develop new offerings. It makes a lot of sense for us to broaden the effort to partner with provincial-scope organizations and invite an Island-wide audience to get down to negotiations on new partnerships and packages.”
Tara Costello, owner and operator of Ahead in the Game, is looking forward to the marketplace. Her company recognizes that most organizations can benefit from increasing a collaborative mindset and skills. Adventure-based, experiential activities can shine a light on patterns that are working, as well as areas of improvement. She commented on the event, saying, “Our programs can be a great add-on for organizations or companies coming to PEI. I look forward to meeting with accommodation providers and meeting organizers to highlight this product as an offer. This afternoon marketplace provides a great opportunity to network and make connections that would otherwise take a tremendous effort to coordinate individually.”
Meetings in PEI represent a growth market for Prince Edward Island, contributing approximately $19.5 million from an estimated 200 meetings in 2009, according to a study by the Tourism Research Centre. In 2011, Meetings PEI reported 257 meetings and 17,345 delegates. These visitors are high-yield and have a high propensity for return. PEI expects to grow its market share with the development of the new convention centre and Meetings and Conventions PEI is embarking on a new sales plan to capitalize on the added facilities, as well as the potential attached to the 2014 Celebrations as meeting planners seek increasingly unique, compelling and meaningful meeting venues and events.
The marketplace is open to all interested businesses, however, space is limited. Pre-registration is required and interested businesses should visit the website to learn more, register and start requesting partner appointments: www.tourismmarketplacepei.ca.
For more information contact:
Central Coastal Tourism Partnership
Meetings & Conventions PEI
Visit the web site at www.tourismmarketplacepei.ca