Automobile rental ‘shortfall’ may dampen massive summer time for P.E.I. tourism


P.E.I. tourism officers are involved {that a} scarcity of rental automobiles may pose a big downside this summer time because the Island anticipates a giant soar in guests flying to the Island.

“There is a shortfall of automobiles. We’re not going to have the ability to meet the demand,” stated Kirk Nicholson, the company proprietor of Avis Finances P.E.I., and transportation committee chair with the Island’s tourism business affiliation (TIAPEI). 

“There’s elevated capability at the Charlottetown Airport, and effectively upfront of that, a variety of the businesses, ours included, are at the moment bought out for a lot of the summer time already.”

Nicholson says on the onset of the pandemic, the automotive rental enterprise took a giant hit, and firms world wide bought off a lot of their fleet. 

Now, provide chain points within the auto manufacturing business are making it not possible to exchange them. Consequently, P.E.I. automotive rental businesses have 50-65 per cent fewer autos than they did in 2019, Nicholson stated. 

‘To get to the golf programs, and to get to eating places and the seashores, [rental cars] are an essential piece of the puzzle,’ stated Kirk Nicholson, transportation committee chair with the Island’s tourism business affiliation. ((CBC))

He estimates that might depart practically 9,000 clients and their journey teams unable to get autos. 

“Not like somebody travelling and making their trip in Toronto, the place there are a half dozen choices to get round, we’re a journey vacation spot,” stated Nicholson. 

“To get to the golf programs, and to get to eating places and the seashores, [rental cars] are an essential piece of the puzzle … Will individuals cancel their holidays to come back right here due to this? Some sure, some no. However it’s actually successful.”

Automobile-sharing the reply?

Nicholson says TIAPEI is relying on a car-sharing firm referred to as Turo to fill at the very least a few of the void. 

Turo permits customers to hire out their private autos via a web-based platform, much like Airbnb. 

The corporate is up and working in a handful of Canadian provinces, and is aiming to launch on P.E.I. earlier than summer time. 

Turo permits customers to hire out their private autos via a web-based platform, much like Airbnb. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

“We predict it is an ideal time for Turo to launch there, and native automotive homeowners to unlock this financial alternative,” stated Cedric Mathieu, the corporate’s vice-president.

“As you possibly can think about, this could go a great distance in offsetting the price of automotive possession. And I feel the individuals of P.E.I. will see an financial alternative right here, particularly within the excessive season this summer time.”

Mathieu stated his firm is at the moment working with P.E.I. insurance coverage regulators to get a particular sort of insurance coverage authorized that protects automobiles whereas they’re rented out via the platform. 

“You realize, we will not talk a exact timeline and it is not solely in our fingers. However I am very assured we’ll be capable to present some aid to the Island by way of the automotive rental scarcity, and the entire group is working arduous in direction of that,” he stated. 

Nicholson stated TIAPEI can also be working with Island taxi and journey sharing corporations with hopes they’re going to be capable to scale up their operations to assist meet the demand. 



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