Canada is extending a ban on large cruise ships to Oct. 31 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus
Vancouver’s summer cruise ship season is cancelled, after the federal government on Friday extended the ban on large cruise ships until Oct. 31.
The cancellation of the busy multimillion dollar cruise season could hurt Vancouver businesses, as tens of thousands of passengers go through Canada Place cruise terminal in Vancouver each summer.
It will mean less foot traffic in popular downtown neighbourhoods like Gastown and will likely affect summer business for taxis, restaurants, and shops.
Every time a ship docks in Vancouver, it creates about $3.3 million in spending, according to Vancouver port spokeswoman Danielle Jang.
The cruise industry’s last economic impact analysis estimated that B.C.’s cruise-related tourism was worth $2.2 billion to the province in 2016, with $982 million of that in direct spending including $359 million by passengers on room nights, meals, excursions and other shopping, according to the trade group Cruise Lines International Association.
Canada is extending a ban on large cruise ships to Oct. 31 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on Friday.
Cruise ships with overnight capacity for more than 100 crew and passengers will not be allowed to operate in Canadian waters at least until November, Garneau said in a news conference.
Some cruise lines had already put their summer season on hold. Princess Cruises said the company is extending its pause of global ship operations and cancelling select cruises through the end of the 2020 summer season, including Alaska, Europe, Caribbean, Canadian, and Transatlantic cruises.
Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said the “disappointing” decision was made because airlines have limited their flight availability and many popular cruise ports are closed.
“It saddens us to think about the impact on the livelihood of our teammates, business partners and the communities we visit,” Swartz said, in a statement.
The ban on large cruise ships, many of which were hit by COVID-19 outbreaks, began in March. B.C.’s main cruise season usually begins in early April.
Earlier this month,Vancouver’s port authority said it was on track to open to cruise ships on July 1, almost halfway through the normal seven-month season, but that has now been put on hold until at least the fall.
Last year, Vancouver had a record 288 sailings and a record one million passengers. This year, sailings were expected to grow to 310. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority said it was expecting an almost 20 per cent increase in the number of passengers, to almost 1.2 million, in 2020.
Cruises also contribute more than $300 million a year across Canada in wages through 7,000 jobs and contributes $840 million in total to Canada’s gross national product, the port’s website said.
Original link: https://vancouversun.com/news/covid-19-vancouvers-summer-cruise-ship-season-cancelled-as-ban-extended