Purpose of Project
In April 2019, the Community Development Department for The County of Prince Edward announced the launch of the 2019 Visitor’s Guide – a bilingual, 28-page, publication illustrated by local artist, Kelly Panacci. The guide is an extension of The County’s tourism website, VisitPEC.ca and provides hot tips, bucket list experiences, a detailed map, events and festivals and an overview of The County’s nine sub-regions. Rather than further promote The County as a destination, the publication is intended to encourage visitors to explore off-the-beaten-path regions and activities to help alleviate congestion during peak season while recognizing The County’s many charms outside the summer months.
The guide was designed with feedback gleaned from local Tourism Ambassador Training sessions where we heard first-hand that visitors are looking for maps, events listings and “things to do”, all of which have been incorporated into the guide. Additionally, tourism website stats identified the most viewed content which was reiterated throughout the guide, directing readers back to the website. The guide was developed with sponsorship from the Prince Edward County Accommodation Association – the only paying advertiser. Without paid advertisers, the guide maintains a cohesive look and feel while providing most relevant information to visitors.
Challenges and Changes
Following a shift from marketing to development, the new Prince Edward County Visitor’s Guide is an ‘in-market’ publication, designed to help visitors navigate Prince Edward County rather than promote it. With challenges such as over-crowding and accommodation shortages, the shift from marketing to development took place in order to equip visitors with information to find off-the-beaten path activities. The decision to use illustrated artwork, rather than photography, was done to be as inclusive of the region’s offerings as possible, while acknowledging The County’s vibrant arts community. All of the artwork was illustrated by local artist Kelly Panacci.
Being an ‘in-market’ publication, the guide was designed for visitors who have already arrived in Prince Edward County. 25,000 copies of the guide were printed and distributed locally at wineries, hot spot locations, local businesses, Sandbanks Provincial Park and more. It’s meant to get visitors thinking beyond the beach and build awareness of all the other things to do. The guide is bilingual to help meet the needs of visitors from Quebec.
Illustrated images depict year-round imagery and a variety of activities such as cycling, agriculture, camping, water, fishing, museums, arts, cultural landmarks, yoga, wineries, beaches, provincial parks, nature, theatre, libraries, shops, pubs and restaurants, markets, parks, lavender, hops and maple syrup. Being a municipality we were proud to include the pride flag throughout the publication as well as same-sex couples.