Island East Tourism Group, located at the Rural Action Centre in Montague, is a non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board which promotes tourism in Kings County.
It is one of five rural regional tourism associations across the Island.
The group works with more than 670 tourism operators. In Kings County, 74 percent of businesses and individuals cater to the tourism industry.
“Kings County has pristine beaches, culinary fine dining, coastal restaurants, small towns by the shore, 10 golf courses, water experiences, marinas, outdoor adventures, scenic heritage drives, nine provincial parks, a national park, and private campgrounds,” says Patsy Gotell, Executive Director of Island East Tourism Group. “The 2016 tourism season was the most successful in the last eight years.
“We celebrate more than 35 festivals throughout the summer, as well as ceilidhs. Six lighthouses are open to the public, as well as museums, theatres with live entertainment, hotels, resorts, historic sites, and so much more that attracts thousands of visitors every year.”
Tourism attractions create employment opportunities for students, mature workers, first-time employees, and newcomers to the Island. These jobs develop and enhance employability skills and exposure to new careers.
The Island East Tourism board owns and operates the St. Peter’s Destination Centre, which has a staff of five. They also operate a welcome center in Caribou, Nova Scotia with four staff members who provide information and promote tourism in eastern PEI.
“There are tremendous employment opportunities from May to September in eastern PEI at hotels, resorts, restaurants, outdoor adventures, golf courses, festivals, retail outlets, and many other areas. The tourism season extends into late fall with culinary festivals and other events.”
Jobs in demand include housekeeping, front-end restaurant workers, and kitchen staff.
Rod Clark, Accelerated Market Readiness Program Coordinator, has been hired for a one-year term by the Island East Tourism Group.
His role is to work with tourism operators to identify goals, engage, and motivate the owners and staff by providing education materials, workshops, leadership, and guidance.
“Operators receive consulting and mentoring from a qualified tourism expert, as well as detailed suggestions on how they can become more ‘market ready’ for the future, such as business plan development, branding, web presence, professional development training, and much more.”
Interested in opportunities in Tourism on PEI?
Tourism employers generally start the hiring process in March and April. However, there are year-round positions within the tourism sector.
“The tourism season stretches every year,” says Kathy Livingstone, TIAPEI. “September is almost as busy as the peak season in July, because of festivals such as Fall Flavours and the Shellfish Festival.”
Ways to get connected with employers in tourism:
- Check tourism employment opportunities posted at www.choosetourism.ca.
- TIAPEI will host a Tourism Job Fair in Charlottetown in March, and in Cavendish in April. A Job Fair specifically for cooks and line cooks is to be held in Charlottetown in March.
- TIAPEI hosts a number of Tourism Passport to Employment Programs for mature workers and the next will take place in Montague in February.
- TIAPEI will host a Ready to Work Program for youth with a focus on cooking and related jobs in February.
For more information about jobs, training options on PEI, and more, call 902-566-5008. Visit Tourism Industry Association of PEI www.tiapei.pe.ca.