Nova Scotia News - TheChronicleHerald.caSAINT JOHN — Port authority representatives are crediting regional co-operation as a major reason for expected record cruise ship business in Atlantic Canada this year.
"Everybody in the cruise industry works together very, very well," Bill Eaton, public relations officer for the Saint John Port Authority, said Thursday.
Mr. Eaton said cruise ship industry officials understand that working together is the way to increase traffic numbers. He said the region is reaping the benefits of this co-operation and the positive feedback from passengers about their stops in the region’s ports.
He said the authority expects cruise ship numbers to jump to 82 ships and more than 180,000 passengers from 53 ships and 133,000 passengers visiting Saint John in 2007.
The previous record was in 2004 with 60 ships and 138,000 passengers.
"It’s a huge increase," said Mr. Eaton.
He said the visitors have a significant impact on the Saint John-area economy, adding that the cruise ship industry is now the second-largest revenue generator for the Port of Saint John.
In Halifax, port authority representatives said they will see cruise ship traffic jump to 131 vessels and 215,000 to 220,000 passengers this year from 92 vessels and 176,000 passengers in 2007.
"We’ve been working with our partners through the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association to really bill the region as a destination for cruising," said Catherine McGrail, manager of cruise development for the port .
Ms. McGrail said it makes sense for Atlantic Canadian ports to work together. That co-operation is a driving force behind the booming regional cruise ship business, she said.