Reality show didn’t help golf numbers on P.E.I.

Golf numbers were down on P.E.I. last year, despite almost $1 million dollars being invested by taxpayers on hosting the reality TV show, The Big Break.

Two years ago the Golf Channel came to P.E.I. to record its popular reality TV series The Big Break.

At the time, Tourism Department officials said it was about putting P.E.I. on the international golfing map.

But the numbers show Big Break was a big bust.

The number of rounds played by visiting golfers was down last year by four and a half per cent.

“The Big Break was a farce as far as I’m concerned. There was no revenue generated from it. They got no results from it,” said Opposition tourism critic Jim Bagnall.

In the legislature Friday morning, Tourism Minister Rob Vessey blamed the economy.

He said being down four and a half per cent pales in comparison to the rest of Canada.

“I believe the country was down over 11 per cent and our region in the Maritimes was down 11 per cent. We’re doing all we can. With the tough economic times, rounds of golf all across our country were down last year,” said Vessey.

Vessey’s optimistic this summer will be a rebound year for golf.

He said his department is working on affordable travel packages that will make the Island a more appealing golf destination

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