HALIFAX, N.S. — The cruise industry provided $90.8 million in direct economic impact to Atlantic Canada in 2012. and those positive gains for the region are projected to continue in 2013, says federal cabinet minister Bernard Valcourt.
Direct economic impact to the region increased by 10.2 per cent, or $8.4 million, compared to 2011 and was up two per cent from the previous record year in 2010.
“Tourism is a key economic driver in Atlantic Canada,” says Valcourt, associate minister of national defence and minister of state (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie).
There were approximately 925,000 cruise passenger and crew visits to Atlantic Canada between April and November. Total passenger visits increased to 649,053, up 9.4 per cent over 2011 or approximately 56,000 passengers.
The Atlantic Canada Cruise Association (ACCA) estimates that direct spending by passengers and crew was approximately $46 million. When cruise line spending is included, total economic impact generated in the region was $90.8 million.
Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA) is currently completing a study that will update these calculations later in 2013 with new data collected throughout the 2012 cruise season. These revised numbers will be available later in 2013.
“The cruise sector has definitely been growing in our region over the past number of years and our collective efforts have proven to be successful,” says Corryn Morrissey, chair of the ACCA.
“Atlantic Canada’s ports remain extremely attractive to passengers and cruise lines alike, however, we need to continue to work together to ensure we are able to sustain this growth and tackle the many challenges ahead.”
Looking ahead to 2013, ACCA is forecasting another record year with close to 660,000 passengers expected to visit Atlantic Canada by cruise.
ACCA is a partnership between ports, tourism and cruise ship interests in each of the four Atlantic Provinces, ACOA and Parks Canada.