The Prince Edward Island Convention Centre project is the product of an industry-lead process to expand Prince Edward Island’s capacity to host meetings and conventions.
The meetings and conventions sector has long been an important contributor to PEI tourism and the local economy.
The establishment of the current convention space at the Delta Prince Edward in 1981 has resulted in PEI becoming an established and popular venue for meetings and conventions.
- In 2008, the meetings and conventions sector was worth $18.6 million with 20,000 total delegates
- In 2009, new records were set with 30,000 delegates driving the value of the sector to $28 million.
There are factors, however, that inhibit the sector’s ability to grow. The most critical factor is that PEI has difficulty attracting larger meetings (more than 300 exhibitors) that want to “meet, eat and exhibit” under one roof. Large conventions have experienced significant logistical challenges in managing meetings, events, dining and displays in multiple venues. In spite of this factor, PEI continues to be an appealing destination for meeting planners. Building on this equity is essential to the long-term health of this sector of tourism on PEI.
Adding to the strategic importance of the meetings and conventions sector, PEI’s Tourism Advisory Council’s 5 year strategy focuses on product development to grow the tourism sector. This strategy includes a call to expand meetings and conventions space and capacity.
Cornerstone investments in tourism infrastructure have provided a sound footing for today’s tourism industry on PEI. Ranging from the original construction of the Confederation Centre of the Arts to the Delta Prince Edward and from golf course to the Confederation Bridge, infrastructure plays a foundational role in the growth and development of tourism on Prince Edward Island. The construction of the PEI Convention Centre is the next evolution of this sound tradition of tourism infrastructure investment.