Cruise ship tour operators want more permanent structure

Dave Stewart
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Gazebo, landscaped area among requests from association

Three cruise ships stopped by Charlottetown on Oct. 9: The Norwegian Dawn, The Emerald Princess and The Brilliance of the Seas.

The P.E.I. Tour Operators Association is asking for a more permanent, easily accessible structure on the Charlottetown waterfront.

The association began two years ago when a collection of taxis banded together to offer cruise ship passengers transportation around the Island.

The association signed a contract with the Charlottetown Port Authority at the time, allowing the group access to the grounds.

William Murray, president of the P.E.I. Tour Operators Association, said the group is keeping a close eye on where talks involving a new master plan for the waterfront go.

“With more and more ships coming in next year and the need for our services increasing, there is a need for a more permanent, easily accessible structure on the site,’’ Murray said.

Right now, the association spends thousands to rent a tent

“We would like to see the redevelopment include an area on the port authority land that allows for visitors to access our services, provides for a shelter for visitors awaiting pickup or just a comfortable place to rest before heading out.’’

Charlottetown welcomed 54 cruise ships (42 cruise ships days; sometimes more than one ship is in port on the same day) to its port this year but expects to host 76 in 2013 (62 cruise ships days).

Murray said his association, which has doubled in size in two years, pumps half a million dollars into the economy each season and they’d like to see the provincial government, City of Charlottetown and port authority to help fund the cost of a permanent location.

No one from the port authority was immediately available for comment Thursday.

Each member of the tour operations association goes through a course conducted by the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. (TIAPEI).

Murray said the association may have been at odds with then port authority two years ago but “we’re all working together on the same page now’’.

The group is looking for a gazebo-like structure, similar to the one, which sits at the nearby Joe Ghiz Park and a well-landscaped area around it.

“Replacing the old security fence with a more attractive and functional iron gate system would also enhance the first impressions of visitors as they come off the cruise ship.’’

Murray said similar associations are looking for the same thing in Halifax and Sydney, N.S.

Organizations: P.E.I. Tour Operators Association, Island.The association, Charlottetown Port Authority Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. TIAPEI

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Joe Ghazi Park, Halifax Sydney

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Recent comments

  • Money for Nothing Drinks for Free
    December 31, 2012 - 11:12

    Great idea! Making our waterfront beautiful and welcoming makes a tremendous first impression on passengers and the payback will be realized when they return to PEI for a longer vacation in the near future. I support this proactive move for tourism development. Seeing the article makes me excited about the future for us and our next generation through building a better, more prosperous Island.

  • hrcbear
    November 23, 2012 - 14:09

    The Cruise ship industrey want more facilities, while also depleting Charlottetown's water supply. So bad this past summer that Charlottetown had to buy water from other locations and truck it in, so they could water their flower beds and what not around the city. asking people to use the more efficient toilets that only need 6 liters of water is not the answer. Send someone around and fix toilets that are constantly running, replaced washers in taps that keep dripping. That's were the savings will come. Limit thew amount of water to cruise ships, I se there will be an increase in ships next by another eight(8) and or stop anymore building permits until you get your act togather.;

  • patty
    November 17, 2012 - 07:23

    if we ask halifax or sydney maybe they would tell us how much water they give to the cruise ships and we could figure it out from there i dont understand why this information is private that should be public information but someone must be hiding something so tax payers should demand to know thes things ns has a guy kevin lacsy who looks out for tax payers we should employ him to get answers for us

  • John Getson
    November 14, 2012 - 17:37

    A Couple of days? ... Lucky if the passengers from these ships are ashore for a couple of hours.

  • garry
    November 13, 2012 - 07:15

    AMY is right, we will wake up some day and there will be a fine wrought iron fence around the potatoe warehouse and a large (they all have to fit in) gazebo with heating units (it might be coolish now and then) and a bar serving Ann' codials (they could be thirsty between the boat and the carriage) . What about a conveir belt to carry them to the Spa on the waterfront, that was funded by Ghiz for a service to the cruise ship passengers (according to then Minister Allan Campbell) ---- we are so g.d. stupid - and we are paying a herd of people to stuff this crap down our throats.

  • amy
    November 13, 2012 - 07:08

    why should I build a gazebo for strangers, ---- make use with what we have, - they are only here for a few hours and for a few months of the year, - but in the end I will not be asked, there will be some secret deal worked out between the PortAuthority, CADC, the City and the Province - and lo and behold there will be a facility, that I have paid for. ____ Hail to the protesters, all levels of government refuse to answer to the people any more, they need to be put in their place, - by the people --- let's keep the protest up till the next City election and then the Provincial election, and make some much needed changes

  • ralf
    November 13, 2012 - 07:02

    Did taxpayers not foot the bill for refurbishing the big warehouse for the passengers to pass through? There are big windows and amenities, -- put up some benches in that and leave the taxpayers alone for a change, --- or put up some money yourself and build your gazebo. I am always amazed of the balls of brass displayed by people going asking taxpayers to deliver for them---

  • Dolphie
    November 13, 2012 - 06:58

    Besides tours, shops and restaurants below Kent Street, who makes money from these expensive toys? As usual, we are giving more than we are getting. Saving the waterfront - what a joke! What waterfront? Want more cheap tourists - spend your own money. We're tired of standing hat in hand like a bunch of beggars, when in fact we're wasting our own tax dollars.

  • Joe Blow
    November 13, 2012 - 00:03

    THIS is something that the government should be willing to spend some money on!!! If cruise ships want to dock in our harbour for a couple of days while their passengers get off the ship to shop and help stimulate our economy, then we should be doing what we can to accommodate them!! As long as the ships are not polluting our waters or doing any damage to the harbour...then I see nothing wrong with it. The business owners downtown and on the waterfront will stand to gain from more visitors and the upgrades to the wharf shouldn't cost too much money, certainly not the $30 million the government is wasting on an unneeded highway in Bonshaw that isn't going to generate any revenue for the province, but sure will cost more money to maintain.

  • Years Past
    November 12, 2012 - 23:07

    I liked it better when nice folks from away came on the ferry and drove the twisting/turning roads at a slow pace to relax and enjoy our friendly Island ways of simple farming and fishing.Stopping now and then to purchase some fresh produce or fish to take back to their campground and cook up for supper. I really think that as much money was made just showing how we lived everyday as is created by jazzing everything up to look like where they came from. WoW I truely miss those days.Amen.

  • Island Boy
    November 12, 2012 - 19:05

    DANNY: How can you say the ships pay for the water? Eddie Rice has told us, with the usual foresighted planning of a City Council member, that it is none of our "bees wax" how much water the cruise ships use, so how do we know they pay? As far as I can see, the only great benefit to PEI is the contributions that the poor horses make as they "taxi" the cruise passengers around... even notice an increase in sparrows' interest.

  • Danny
    November 12, 2012 - 16:46

    If taxes are spent wisely, its not a bad thing, these cruise ships are opening up a lot of great things for pei. extra tours, smaller attractions around town are benefiting, shops can stay open longer. Which all means people can work longer, make more money, spend less time on pogey. so spending a hundred grand on a permanent structure can actually make and save the money in the long run. and the ships pay for the water and to dock their ships.

  • harold
    November 12, 2012 - 16:37

    The PEI Tour Operators Association, --- well, why not,there is an association for everything going, makes the demands more powerful, how many members do this assocation have, and are they the same as the DOWNTOWN BUSISSINESS ASSOCATION, OR THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, I will bet there is a lot of 'cross-members'. In any event, - don't come asking the taxpayers, it is bad enough we give away our water (I according to Rice have no business asking how much or for how much), now we are to make sure they have a pretty lounge, - give us taxpayers a break, will you, - cough it up yourselves you are the ones reaping the benefits. kves

  • Island Boy
    November 12, 2012 - 16:08

    Agree with the "comments".Enough. Ghiz is already ruining our waterfront view along with our taxes and democracy; City Council has the same ability to plan sewer and water resources that a 2x4 plank has for vision. If the cruise visits are so "critical" then let the "users pay"!

  • low in home oil
    November 12, 2012 - 15:48

    talk about the water they take on what about the fuel they burn just to let the people party on water then on land. the best thing the people could do is have all cruise ships taken out of the water.

  • alfredd
    November 12, 2012 - 11:44

    I am sick and tired of being JOE TAXPYER asked to cough up so this group and that group can look at something in an effort to lurenthem to spend more money in Charlottetown.I would like to be able to look at something nice too, like a new roof on my house , but being robbed of my money by Ghiz, I cannot find the money for my roof, ---- come and ask me next year after we are fleezed with the HST, - to hell with the cruise ship operators, whomever they are, cough it up yourself, you are apparently one of those who benefit from them coming.

  • Greeneyed Monster
    November 12, 2012 - 10:36

    If business is so lucrative, pony up and develop it yourself!

  • would like to know
    November 12, 2012 - 10:13

    I would like to know how much water cruise ships take on over the run of a year when in port in Charlottetown. Especially where there was a shortage of water through this past summer for taxpayers.

    • amazed
      November 12, 2012 - 19:05

      Indeed ,excellent point what with the water shortage in town.Personaly I am more concerned in what they are pumping out in Canadian waters, once they use it fresh water becomes grey water or worse.There is more to this picture than townies inconveneince of water shortage ,what about the creatures that can't live in the fouled water these ships leave behind?It is plain to me that if they will let raw sewage spill into their own harbour they are not too concerned about what is pumped out off East Point or Northumberland Strait.Got to sell that trinket from China to make a buck to heck with anything else!