Tourism & Master Planning

North Cape Coastal Drive

Prince Edward Island

Research conducted in 2002 tested the effectiveness of the six touring regions and scenic drive brands in Montreal, Toronto, and Boston marketplaces. Not surprisingly, the Lady Slipper Coastal Drive and the three touring regions in western PEI did not resonate well with potential customers. What did appeal was the pastoral landscape, relaxed pace, and tranquillity of the red sands, rocks, cliffs, and beaches. This became the cornerstone of our work, to: rebrand the drive, design the route based on visual and cultural experience and product offerings, provide support infrastructure like map stations and rest areas, lookouts and access to destinations, visitor centre integration, interpretation, continuity along the route, unique opportunities, and an entire new highway signage system. A detailed assessment of the route selection and tourism assets was conducted over a three-day period using an evaluation matrix. The process involved extensive consultation with tourism operators and the public. 

The premise of the resulting strategy is: 

  • Make the touring route product-based
  • Link the tourism assets with the thematic way-finding system
  • Provide scenic lookouts
  • Promote the most distant destination as a must see experience

The study recommendations were implemented right away and the result was a staggering increase in the visitor traffic to western PEI. The success of this pilot project lead to further contracts to complete the network of three scenic drives.