Thursday, March 14, 2013

There's money just floating by our shoreline...

If we require a reminder as to why some in Prince Rupert would like to rebuild the city's Cruise Ship Industry, a study from the Cruise Industry on the West Coast of North America might be helpful to the cause.

The main takeaway from the study being that the Cruise Ship Industry in Canada is a 2.4 billion dollar venture, with British Columbia claiming more than half of that bounty.

The study conducted by the Northwest and Canada Cruise Association (NWCCA) found that with 1,100 cruise ship calls at Canadian ports, the spin off effects to those communities that play host to the visitors can be quite beneficial.

It's estimated that with some 1.777 million passengers in 2012, British Columbia accounted for 57 per cent of the Canadian cruise market, making for close to 60 per cent of the 9,849 of the full and part time jobs created by ships that call on BC ports.

It's no wonder that some would like to see more of the big ships arriving on a much more consistent basis.

Prince Rupert is currently in the process of rebuilding it's footprint in that industry, adding more port of call visits to this years schedule and constantly seeking to gain more vessel calls.

To that end the Port Authority of Prince Rupert is currently at a trade show in Florida, looking to re-introduce some of the major players in the industry to what the North Coast has to offer.

The trade show provides a valuable contact point and as you can see from their website offerings, a presence among the cruise lines, tour planners and assorted industry players, could prove to be a vital part of re-invigorating the local industry.

This year's schedule offers up nine port of call visits from May to September an increase from last year and a hopeful sign that the local proponents of the cruise industry on the North Coast are beginning to rebuild their relationship with the various cruise lines.

As we outlined back in December, the Prince Rupert experience is still far  off the volume of ships and passengers that call on Ketchikan during the busy Alaska Cruise season of the summer period.

Still, it takes time to rebuild confidence in a market and to engage the community in the process, the Cruise Ship Task Force began some of that process last year, the Port clearly is trying to regain the momentum of a few years ago.

Moving forward with the Cow Bay redevelopment plans and increasing the opportunities across the city, could provide more in the way of material to work with when seeking out more port calls at the Cruise Ship Terminal.

With the Industry offering such an economic impact as the recent study suggests, just gaining a share of that 2 billion dollars could make a huge difference in diversifying the local economy.

You can review more of the reports findings below:

Vancouver Province-- Tide rising again for B. C.'s Cruise Industry
BC Shipping News-- Cruise ships drive expanding tourism and $2.8 billion in economic impacts...
Business in Vancouver-- B. C. has more than half of Canada's $2 b cruise-ship business

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