2100 people arrive in Nanaimo on 4th cruise ship of the season
The Coral Princess is the fourth of six cruise ships to make Nanaimo a port of call this year, and when the final one arrives in October some 15,000 passengers will have arrived the Harbour City.
And they leave a significant economic impact.
“$70 is the average per passenger and on a ship like this we get about 2100 passengers. We get a high percentage that come off so about 90% will come into town” said David Mailloux of the Nanaimo Port Authority.
People like Rosalie Fuquay and her family from California.
“Souvenirs for my grandchildren and maybe something I like for myself you know I would definitely buy, yes” said Fuquay.
“Yeah we buy like art, things that you can only get here, something unique to the territory” added Michael Salter from California.
And some of the shops along the waterfront, an area accessible and popular with the cruise ship tourists, say they notice a significant bump in business when a ship comes in.
“The first cruise ship that we had in was that huge one and it was the best sales day I’d ever had since I bought the store” said Esther Holubowich who owns Newfoundland to Nanaimo.
The good news for Nanaimo is the increase in tourism isn’t based solely on the arrival of cruise ships.
“We’re seeing a 33% increase in the number o people who have come to our visitor centre this year, I think the airport is up 5%, the hotel accommodation is reporting just short of 90% occupancy which is the best it’s been in twenty years so we really are seeing a great year for 2016 for Nanaimo” said Tourism Nanaimo CEO John Hankins.
The success this year is being attribute to several factors.
We started off the year by being listed by many different travel sites by being one of the top ten places to visit in Canada by Expedia, Trivago, Trip Advisory, obviously the exchange rate has helped us as well, we have a low Canadian dollar which has made it very attractive for Americans to come here but also for Canadians to stay here as well” added Hankins.