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Environmental group says cruise ships bring far less economic benefit to Victoria than non-cruise tourism


Cruise ship travellers in Victoria contribute far less to the local tourism economy than non-cruise travellers, according to a new analysis commissioned by environmental group

The report published Wednesday compared the economic impacts of the two groups of tourists in the B.C. capital in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the local cruise industry.

The report, prepared by Responsible Travel Consulting LLC, found total cruise tourism spending in Victoria amounted to $137.1 million in 2019, compared to non-cruise spending of $2.94 billion, or roughly 21 times more.

Cruise ship passengers spent an average of $87.36 per visit to Victoria in 2019, while overnight visitors spent $710 on an average visit, or roughly $237 per day, according to the report.

Non-cruise day trippers to Victoria spent an average of $137.46 per visit, the report said.

Cruise ship passengers accounted for 12 per cent of tourist visitors to the city, but those passengers spent less than two per cent of the tourism dollars in 2019, according to the report.

The same analysis found non-cruise tourism created 30 times more jobs in Greater Victoria than cruise tourism, while also generating 20 times more in tax dollars than cruise operations.

The report comes as Victoria prepares to welcome its first cruise ship to the city since October 2019 on Saturday.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority says 358 cruise ship visits are scheduled between Saturday and early November, bringing an estimated 780,000 passengers to the city. campaigner Anna Barford says the notion that cruise ships are an economic driver for Victoria's tourism industry is "a myth," adding the industry also has "an outsized pollution footprint."

The report recommends Victoria focus on rebuilding its overnight tourism sector to maximize local economic benefts and minimize negative environmental impacts. Top Stories

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