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March 26, 2008

Strong growth recorder for Canada’s cruise ship industry

Rimouski, March 26 2008 - A new study released by the NorthWest Cruiseship Association (NWCA) and its Canadian cruise port partners reveals that nearly two million passengers on approximately 1,000 cruise ship calls generated $2.3 billion in total output for the Canadian economy in 2007. The study, conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA), updates the previous study conducted in 2003 and shows that the Canadian cruise industry has grown by almost 28% nationally in four years.

"In identifying the trends in growth, this comparative study illustrates the increasing value of the cruise industry in Canada and the potential for growth in future years," said John Hansen, President of NWCA. "The jump in passengers, for example, from 1.6 million in 2003 to almost two million last season, indicates a high level of satisfaction in the product being offered by Canadian ports - satisfaction both from a passenger's viewpoint as well as that of the cruise lines."

In partnering with the four regional cruise associations - Cruise Newfoundland and Labrador, St. Lawrence Cruise Association, Atlantic Canada Cruise Association and Cruise BC - Hansen notes that the study provides region-specific data in addition to a national review of the industry. "Analysis of the data allows each region to evaluate their efforts and identify priority areas in marketing their destinations," Hansen continues. "This is a very useful exercise in terms of allocating resources and developing future strategic plans." 

St. Lawrence Cruise Association President, Martine Bélanger, agreed and noted that: "This study confirms to our government partners that it is worthwhile to invest in the development of our ports-of-call as well as our home ports along the Saint-Lawrence River."

The positive growth is also good news for B.C. "As a key economic driver in B.C.'s tourism sector, I am delighted with the significant growth in the B.C. cruise ship industry as indicated in BREA's recent study," said Stan Hagen, B.C. Minister of Tourism, Sport and the Arts.  "The dramatic increase of 21 per cent in cruise ship revenues in just four years is strong evidence that British Columbia is increasingly becoming the destination of choice. This tremendous progress, along with many other positive factors in B.C.'s tourism sector, is helping us achieve our goal of doubling tourism revenues by 2015."

Cruise customers are increasingly drawn to Canada as a result of the positive synergies created between the cruise lines, destination marketing organizations, port officials, and coastal communities.

Mayor Alan Lowe of Victoria, BC commented on the importance of the cruise industry stating that, "Victoria's tourism sector benefits from being Canada's leading cruise port-of-call," Mayor Lowe noted that "cruise industry spending contributes substantially to the local tax base, encourages a reinvestment in port infrastructure, provides well-paying jobs, and creates many additional business opportunities across the country".

In summing up the success of the cruise industry in Canada, John Hansen noted that cruise activities have a significant affect across a number of sectors within the Canadian economy.

"The cruise industry provides growth for manufacturing, wholesale and retail, transportation, professional and technical services, accommodation and food services as well as tourism-related services and products, said Hansen. "The way that the industry impacts on such a diverse range of sectors and in regions all across Canada demonstrates the importance of this industry for Canadians. We look forward to continuing our work with our regional cruise association partners to identify greater opportunities for growth."

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To see the BREA Study Highlights

For more information, please call:

John Hansen
North West Cruiseship Association
Tel.: (604) 681-9515

or

René Trépanier
Cruise the Saint Lawrence
Tel.: (418) 725-0135

Strong growth recorder for Canada’s cruise ship industry [89 Kb]

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