The West Coast gets ‘two thumbs up’

Cruise ship passengers are spending more on lodging, food, attractions, tours and shopping while in Vancouver and other parts of B.C., according to a study conducted during the most recent cruise season. Compared with 1997 figures, cruise ship passengers reporting time in the city spent approximately 25% more, or an average of $300 during their entire stay in Vancouver.

Eighty-two percent of the cruise passengers were from the United States, with most arriving by air and almost 90 % taking their first Alaskan cruise. Vancouver proved to be the most popular pre/post destination among all cruise passengers, while other popular choices included Victoria, Whistler and the Interior.

Not surprisingly, Vancouver received top marks for its attractions, parks, culture, accommodations, restaurants and outdoor activities, with eight out of 10 visitors expressing an interest in returning to the city. Cruise passengers passing through Vancouver are now a vital part of the city’s tourism industry, generating almost $100 million in direct tourism revenue for Greater Vancouver.

Since the “Open Skies” agreement between Canada and the U.S. in 1995, direct flights to Vancouver from U.S. cies have grown from 454 flights per week from eight US cities, to 674 flights per week from 21 US cities.