Island Trails plants focusing on soft adventures to boost tourism

Published on : Saturday, June 10, 2017

Island Trails plants focusingThe non-profit group, Island Trails, that maintains hiking and biking trails in the Prince Edward Islands, hopes to attract more people to the trails, through a focus on soft adventure tourism.

 
This year’s campaign by Tourism P.E.I. has a focus on soft adventure activities such as kayaking, cycling, and hiking. Island Trails members discussed how the trails could play a role in that focus at its annual general meeting Thursday evening.

 
The focus on soft adventure tourism is based on Vision 2021, a five-year tourism strategy developed by the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I., which noted that outdoor activities haven’t been promoted as well as they could be.

 
TIAPEI CEO Kevin Mouflier spoke about the strategy at Island Trails’ AGM. The group also heard from Island Trails board member Ken Miller, who shared his personal experience with soft adventure tourism in other parts of the world.

 

Miller and his wife have recently travelled to a number of international destinations to go hiking.

 

For one thing, Miller said he has noticed that the popularity of hiking seems to be increasing, and believes it would be smart for P.E.I. to capitalize on the growing market.

 

Miller said his travels have also taught him what other destinations do well when it comes to promoting soft adventure tourism. He said he was particularly impressed with his experiences in Ireland and New Zealand.

 

“They just do it so well. It makes it quite painless, and you can put together the sort of packages that you need. The information is all there, it’s easily accessible,” said Miller of his experience organizing his trips to New Zealand.

 
He thinks P.E.I. could learn a lesson from those countries, by offering easy, one-stop ways for people to plan a vacation.

 

‘If they’re packaged properly, then people will find it. And if it’s easy to book, easy to find, easy to do; they’ll do it.’- Ken Miller

 
“I think that today people seek out vacation opportunities in soft [adventure] tourism by looking for the activity first. They’re not seeking out the restaurant or the B&B or the accommodation. They’re seeking out the activity, and then they’re looking for the other things,” said Miller.

 
“If they’re packaged properly, then people will find it. And if it’s easy to book, easy to find, easy to do; they’ll do it.”

 
Mouflier agreed that creating more of a one-stop shop would be useful for attracting more tourists, and that is part of TIAPEI’s goal.

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