Consistent Ferry Service to Boost Pelee Island Tourism

AM800-News-Pelee-Islander-ll-April-2019

A good chunk of the tourism season is over and Pelee Island is finally seeing regular ferry service.

Service reductions hit back in June due to a crew shortage that pushed the Pelee Islander II into part time duty along with the older and smaller Pelee Islander I.

That situation has been addressed and the Pelee Islander II is now running full time.

Cathy Miller owns The Wandering Dog Inn on the island in the middle of Lake Erie and tells The Afternoon News consistent ferry service will be a big boost for the tourism industry.

"As long as the Pelee Islander II keeps going and our guests have their reservations in we're in good shape," she says. "We're pretty positive about that announcement and we're ready to go."

Miller says most visitors have to book their accommodations months in advance and they need to know they have a spot on the ferry.

"It is a shortened season again due to COVID-19. The ferry service reduction ... the prospect of carrying on for the entire season was devastating," she says.
 
Canada will begin allowing fully vaccinated U.S. visitors into the country on Aug. 7.

She says they will still only be able to reach the island via the ferry service on the Canadian side, so the majority of U.S. visitors will likely be cottage owners.

"I imagine that if you're coming in to Pelee Island as a property owner and you're staying a little bit longer then the inconvenience of what the border might present is certainly more worth it than it might be for a one night or two night stay," she added.

Miller is hopeful the local economy will be able to bounce back from the slow start to the tourist season.