Authentic PEI Experiences
Making memories for visitors – making revenue for providers
Experiential tourism is fueled by a global movement by travelers toward experiential learning and a move to an “experience economy”. This type of product creates memories for the visitor as authentic cultural hands-on experiences engage the senses and make connections on an emotional, spiritual or intellectual level.
Experiential product is not an experience that a visitor would often find while on vacation. For instance, in any harbour on the eastern seaboard, a traveller can expect to find deep sea fishing. However, in PEI, our experiences go beyond the typical water-based experiential packages to include picking bar clams, hauling lobster traps, picking a mussel sock, tonging for oysters and then learning how to prep the seafood just caught, for eating. These are unique opportunities!
Criteria for listing
The desired outcome is to provide a visitor with a complete participatory experience that provides new knowledge and authentic experiences. Participants must get their hands dirty making, creating, hauling, digging, gathering, etc.
For example, the Farm, Forge and Fiddle experience allows visitors to work with a farmer and horses to do chores from the 1890s; forge spoons with a blacksmith and learn to play them with a fiddler; work up an appetite while being taught to square dance before enjoying a meal prepared by the on-site chef.
Uses all five senses
When all five senses are engaged, the visitor's experience will be enhanced and the memories ingrained will be unique and identifiable with the Island experience.
For example, "Lobster Excursion Experience”
- Smell - the salt-water air
- Sight - crisp blue water and red cliffs
- Touch - the feel of pulling a live lobster right out of the trap
- Sound - the sound of the seagulls circling the boat looking for lobsters
- Taste - a taste of fresh lobsters eaten on the fishing boat
Unique to Prince Edward Island
Draws people into the local nature, culture, history and cuisine that is unique to PEI and provides an experience that only “The Island” can provide.
For example, "Spuds Fudge and Tales” teaches all things PEI Potatoes. A local potato farmer takes visitors to the field to share best practices in growing PEI’s world-famous potatoes. Each guest picks a potato to take back to the PEI Potato Museum. There, the history and culture of the PEI potato are shared and that field-fresh potato becomes an ingredient in the making of the museum’s renowned potato fudge. The finale is a potato lunch. All guests leave with yummy potato fudge to take home.
Personal and intimate
Regardless of the type of experience being offered, the Authentic Provider must be personal and engaging. As such, group sizes must be capped at a number that allows for this type of atmosphere. The expert has the knowledge and should be happy to deliver it. At the same time, the guests must feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their thoughts.
Public Health & Safety
All necessary public safety certifications for water, air and culinary experiences must be in place and valid. obtained. Liability insurance and DFO approval may, or may not, be necessary.
The Food Safety Handing Course of Environmental Health is a mandatory requirement for any experience that provides any type of food. In order to meet the requirements of the Public Health Act and Food Premises regulations, at least one on-site person must be certified with the above course when food is served. This course is offered by the PEI Department of Health and Wellness.
All culinary experiences must actively involve participants in the preparation of food that will be consumed as part of the experience.
All experiences that offer food must post a sign or notification provided by Tourism PEI at the location where the experience is sold. This notification indicates the experience is not a licenced food activity, albeit, providers have met the necessary criteria for exemption as outlined in the Public Health Act, including food handling training.
Each experience must be reviewed by Tourism PEI. If approved, it will be added to the approved for certification inventory. If your experience is not approved, you are not qualified for the exemption as outlined in provincial legislation and regulations.
Authentic PEI Experience Certification
All experience providers must apply and be certified to be listed as an Authentic PEI Experience in the Tourism PEI’s inventory.
Workshops, tours, excursions and presentations are not eligible. Any package listed as an “Authentic PEI Experience” must meet all of the criteria listed above.
Tourism Development Officer