P.E.I. promoting LGBTQ tourists' hospitality
Notable for being one of Canada's most attractive tourist destinations, Prince Edward Island is also a considerably hospitable place for members of the LGBTQ community.
In 2017, series of campaigns were held to promote the Islands treatment of LGBTQ tourists. The P.E.I. Gay Tourism Association released a series of six videos on Facebook in March, clearly showing same-sex couples and their families having an amazing time at the province—exploring the historic streets of Charlottetown to the cozy beaches on the island's north shore. One of the uploaded videos showed a wedding between a visibly excited couple, with one of the brides posing for a photo while wrapped in a rainbow flag.
The chairman of the P.E.I Gay Tourism Association, Bill Kendrick, admitted that while the Island might not necessary rank as first choice for LGBTQ travelers—with Toronto and Vancouver as major contenders—it makes up for its lack of the city buzz with an open and hospitable community.
"The people featured in the videos are all LGBTQ residents of P.E.I. Some were born here ... others chose to live here which I think speaks to the inclusiveness of the Island," said Bill Kendrick. Kendrick also added that just like every other traveler, LGBTQ tourists are searching for "fresh local food, interesting authentic culture and beautiful beaches."
"In addition, LGBTQ travellers want to feel comfortable and welcome."
Asides from displaying the island as a pleasurable destination for LGBTQ tourists, the P.E.I. Gay Tourism Association also renders sensitivity training for various businesses.
Tourism P.E.I. also contributed by showcasing a list of LGBTQ-friendly businesses on its website, and also including photos of LGBTQ couples in its visitors guide.
"One can just be one's self in P.E.I. We don't have gay bars here, but we have a gay premier and open-mindedness that surpasses most places in this world," said Derek, one of the P.E.I. residents featured in the videos.
"Those looking for an exciting nightlife won't find it here, but they will find everything else they want," Kendrick added.