I remember that first visit.
Red! The reddest soil you have ever seen. It seemed so unusual yet fit right into the P.E.I. landscape.
Beaches! Amazingly beautiful beaches. Our children were at an age where they could enjoy themselves for hours in the sand. The beaches were not crowded, but soon may be after all the publicity of Regis and Kelly.
Charlottown does not seem like a capital city. At 32,000 population, at no time are you getting that big city traffic jammed horn honking feeling.
And the people. The locals don’t need billboards cajoling them to be nice to tourists. There is no need because the tourists are not treated like invaders. They are friends from another place to we welcomed and make to feel at home.
I went back for conferences after my first visit and continued to be struck with the first impression I had on my first visit.
This is a place waiting to be discovered.
The marketing people of the island are smart.
Before Regis and Kelly they had already concluded they need to create a focal point beyond Anne of Green Gables and the Beaches to draw worldwide visitors.
Their focus was golf and they have done a tremendous job of marketing all their courses as one, in so doing building a new tourism dollar generator.
And before Regis and Kelly as well they had hosted one of the series of Big Break episodes which runs on the Golf Channel.
That experience is likely what opened the door of creativity to include this week’s bigger audience series with the two national morning stars.
Only the long term will tell whether the Regis and Kelly decision will pay off, but it sure looks like the PR value is already more than they could have envisioned when they started down this path.
And to their credit, Regis and Kelly really have done the job of promotion leaders for the province.
So while my first and subsequent visits were to relatively tranquil beaches and sites, the next one may be filled with Americans and other Canadians.
Good for them!