Growth in ocean cruise ship passengers means more visitors to Vancouver, Victoria ports
As 1,350 travel agents and representatives from cruise lines around the world gather this week at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the message is clear skies ahead.
A total of 23.2 million passengers around the world took ocean cruises in 2015, a four per cent increase over 2014. Those numbers were shared by Cruise Lines International Association president Cindy D’Aoust on Thursday in Vancouver at the official annual conference of the cruise industry.
Much of that growth can be attributed to emerging regions of the world. In 2015, Asia experienced the most year-over-year growth in ocean cruise passengers with a 24 per cent increase from 2014 to 2015, with a total of more than two million ocean cruise passengers last year. Australia also experienced a huge surge in ocean cruise popularity, with a 14 per cent growth in passenger numbers.
Vancouver’s Canada Place cruise terminal is the largest home port in Canada serving the Vancouver-Alaska cruise industry, and the local industry expects to welcome approximately 830,000 passengers in 2016. Victoria’s Ogden Point terminal also had a record number of 227 cruise ships stop in 2015, welcoming 533,000 passengers.
Cruise ships were part of Victoria’s rosy tourism picture for the first four months of 2016, according to numbers released by Chemistry Consulting. With the low Canadian dollar luring Americans north, and Canadians preferring to vacation at home, Victoria’s hotels have seen a six per cent increase in occupancy over the same period in 2015. BC Ferries has also seen an increase, with vehicle traffic up 5.5 per cent and passengers up 4.8 per cent.
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