Thursday, February 22, 2024

330 cruise ships expected to port in Victoria this season

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With only five months until summer, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has released a draft schedule for the 2023 cruise season.

As of this publication, the GVHA is expecting 330 ships to dock at the Victoria Cruise Terminal over the seven month season from April to October. 

After receiving feedback from regional and national port partners, the GVHA is estimating 850,000 cruise passengers will make landfall throughout the season.

Through a Desire to Return tourism survey, 53% admitted they would return to Victoria over the next five years. 

23% said they would stay three to four nights while seventy-three percent indicated they would stay between one and four days in other parts of Vancouver Island.

78% of those surveyed had not previously visited Victoria, while 8% had visited Victoria in the past five years.

Many locally owned and operated small businesses, often run by individuals or families, are impacted by cruise tourism. 

Among the top five activities cruise passengers participated in in 2022 were souvenir shopping, dining, visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, and guided tours around the city.

With these new findings, Jeff Bray, Chief Executive Officer at the Downtown Victoria Business Association said in a press release, “Cruise passengers are an important component of our tourism economy and play a major role in supporting our small and medium sized businesses in downtown.”

“From gelato and coffee shops to pubs and our amazing retail options, the money spent by cruise passengers supports hundreds of jobs in our downtown core,” he added.

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