A V I E W F R O M C H A R L O T T E T O W N , P R I N C E E D W A R D I S L A N D
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Oh it is hard to maintain an "entry level" on my web page in "Summertime on PEI". The distractions are extraordinary. There is the usual gardening , grass cutting, strawberry jam making and just being summer lazy ... but the most enjoyable distractions are those opportunities to visit with family and friends in their limited envelope of time. Last week I gave a paper on Cultural Tourism to the Lucy Maud Montgomery Symposium - and preparing for that I was reminded that Islanders have been entertaining friends from "away" for five generations at least! Family and friends want to visit PEI in the summer and we like having them, but it does play havocwith your organized life and it does postpone goals. At the same time our heads get broadenby the stories and experiences of our friends. During the "season" I do the odd tour of Charlottetown for conferences and things. It is a good thing to see your community thru the eyes of visitors. Your focus is sharper then. Generally people like our little city a lot and enjoy our stories enough to encourage there telling, but more and more I am convinced we do things in our community for ourselves, because its those things that our visitors like best. Here is a quote I used in my talk. It is from Robert McNulty of Parnters for Liviable Places in Washington "I don't see cultural tourism as a product. I don't see it as a separate item. I see it as a process of making your community more livable for yourself. if you likeit, then someone is going to come as a visitor and find it enjoyable, too. Then your hardest problem is to manage it so that too many outsiders don't come. It could then become uncomfortable for both you and the visitors - and no longer a pleasant experience for anyone". Is our tourist department listening? I put my sister on the plane early last Monday evening after a five week visit. I cried my way home and wished her holiday was starting all over again, but I'll get busy again and I'll soon be looking forward to her next visit. In the meantime more friends are coming and we must keep in touch with our twelve month friends. And the grass still grows.
Written Wednesday, July 19, 2000 at 12:04 PM