Tuesday, April 7, 2009

SAILING AWAY


The numbers are discouraging.

62 cruise departures from Vancouver cut by Carnival/Princess/Holland America.

20% port biz lost.

$120 Million loss to local biz like produce suppliers, taxis (already reeling) and hotels.

21.5% decline in commercial container traffic since February.

For those who continue to believe that this is a community fueled by latte and condos, wake up and smell the deep. This is a maritime town. No sail, no loot.

Some 62,000 people visited in recent days the new addition to the port side Trade & Convention Centre, believing as the politicians who spent the money to build it, that this is a structure important to our local future.

Certainly, the worldwide economic collapse cannot be put on the shoulders of local planners and politicians.

BUT...

What, if anything, have the Powers That Be, the Folks Who Should Know Better, been doing to avoid this disaster? Has there been any foresight in this matter? Have locals met with Trans-Pacific shippers or Cruise Line brass?

Or Scare Canada?

One of the reasons that the cruises have relocated en masse to Seattle is the prohibitive cost of connecting air fares.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

David, I believe the problem is far worse than described. For years I operated a tourist oriented business on the fringe of Gastown and heard first hand what tourist thought of Vancouver.

By 2000, "tourist trap" was the refrain of many and "too expensive" echoed others. Things went steadily downhill from there.

Seattle's waterfront is much more interesting and Pike St. Market is a wonder to all.

There is a massive disconnect between the tourist and tourism Vancouver and sad to say, "As ye has sown, so shall ye reap."

I predict that the cruise ship business will all but left Vancouver by 2015.

Check the Independant's story on Vancouver, especailly the comments - the truth is bitter.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/from-heaven-to-hell-18-die-as-drugs-war-rages-on-streets-of-vancouver-1663008.html

Keith said...

The requirement for passports to cross the border is a major reason for cruise lines relocating to Seattle.
The majority of Americans do not have passports, and those that do, have better places to travel.

Gazetteer said...

Uncle Dave said:

"Some 62,000 people visited in recent days the new addition to the port side Trade & Convention Centre, believing as the politicians who spent the money to build it, that this is a structure important to our local future."

Best (or at least most honest?) description of the place I've seen/heard came from Fred Lee on the Ceeb when he told a tut-tutting Rick Cluff that it seemed kind of like a gigantic, $900 million dollar 'Cactus Club'......

Ha!

.

NRF said...

You are on the right track. Reading through travelers websites, (tripadvisor.com is one example) I see concerns about hotel and activity costs for stays before and after cruises. Prospective visitors also worry about the downtown street scene, particularly if Ballantyne Pier is involved.

Typically, flying in and out of Seattle is much cheaper than Vancouver, regardless of the U.S. departure point. American consumers enjoy a major price benefit because of competition and that applies beyond airlines too. Almost every thing costs more north of the 49th parallel.