Vancouver News | Local Breaking | CTV News Vancouver
Long weekend cruise ships mean big business for Vancouver
Eight cruise ships are scheduled to come into Vancouver's downtown harbour over the Canada Day long weekend, and that's expected to have a big impact on local businesses.
The estimated economic benefit of tourists disembarking from their luxury ocean liners is pegged as high as $24M, according to the Port of Vancouver. That's based on roughly $3M per ship from passengers dropping cash on tours, restaurants, hotel stays and transportation during their stay.
"I think it's good for Vancouver, good for us," said Emil Malak, owner of a gelato shop attached to the Vancouver Convention Centre. "The cruise ships, they're full to the belly because they're eating all the time. But they'll come in for a drink or an appetizer."
Those tourists, coupled with Canada Day revelers and sunny weather, means downtown Vancouver will be crowded. The Port of Vancouver estimates a record number of visitors to pass through Canada Place on July 1, 2 and 3.
"There were so many people last night we could hardly walk down the street," said Barbara Long, who's on her way back from a cruise along the Alaskan coast to her home in California.
Alan and Ruby Crowcroft, who are stopping in Vancouver during their Pacific Rim cruise, said they were also put off by the massive Canada Day crowds. But Alan admitted he "enjoyed the vibrancy of it all."
Malak is enjoying seating and serving people at his restaurant this weekend, but he knows that a couple of months of cruise ships coming in won't make up for sluggish sales during the rest of the year—especially with high food costs due to the low dollar.
"It has not been a rosy year for hoteliers," he said. "We've all suffered a very bad winter it's been raining all the time."
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Ben Miljure.