The cruise ship industry in Quebec is a victim of the pandemic. Approximately 60 % of the stops are already cancelled. Up to now, what are the economic spinoffs of$ 600 Million that will not end up in the pockets of Quebecers.
This week, companies with vessels that dock across the province have multiplied cancellations. Wednesday, Holland America has put on pause its activities, including to Canada and Europe. Its sister companies Princess Cruises and Seabourn have also followed suit.
The Norwegian Cruise Line, which has even recently expressed doubts about its survival, has had to find over $ 2 billion to maintain its activities. In April, the Cooperative of maritime and air transport (CTMA) had also cancelled its season of cruises between Montréal and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
The director general of the Association des croisières du Saint-Laurent, René Trépanier, recognizes that the vintage summer 2020 will be heavily impacted and that it will probably be difficult to revive the tourism industry. A situation he describes as “dramatic” for some regions.
“It is a disappointment. This year, we expected to generate economic benefits to the province of $ 1 billion with the cruises. As of today, there is talk of$ 600 Million of losses. It was anticipated 500 000 days-passengers, ” says the Journal, Mr. Trépanier.
Source of income
The cruise ship industry, which had the wind in the sails here, is a source of income for restaurants, hotels, merchants, and ports. In addition to visitor spending, each company pays out enormous sums to dock and get the goods, and gasoline.
“This is 15 years that this industry is growing. We recorded increases of over 10 % per year, ” says Mr. Trépanier, hoping to see any of the same ships in the fall.
The DG concedes that the image of cruises has been buffeted in recent weeks, due to outbreaks of the virus on boats.
At the Port of Québec, the president and CEO, Mario Girard, said he would not be surprised that all of the cruise companies cancel their trips. This year, the organization had$ 106 Million of the economic benefits foreseen, of which$ 33 Million were to be spent in shops.
“I am zero surprised. Honestly, I don’t see how we could accommodate these vessels with the pandemic. I think that there will be no cruise this year, ” noted Mr. Girard.
“The tourism industry is very badly affected. It is necessary to forget the season 2020 and turn to 2021, in the hope that we have found different solutions, ” he continued.
Both Québec city and Montréal
The Port of Québec hoped to host this year around 250 000 passengers and crew members. Currently, the 88-ship tours were cancelled for a total of 126 500 persons.
On the side of the Port of Montreal, on the organization’s website, between may 11 and October 28, 58 of the 78 cruises planned have been cancelled. A normal season results in approximately$ 30 Million of economic benefits to the tourist industry of Montreal.
“Currently, with the fact that the cruise ships can’t come to Canada until July 1, and the cancellations were recently announced by some cruise companies, this represents approximately 61 000 international passengers who were scheduled to be and which will not come (out of a total of 97 000 for 2020),” says Melanie Nadeau, director of communications at the Montreal port Authority.
CRUISE SHIP INDUSTRY IN QUEBEC BY 2020
- $600 Million in economic impact of lost
- 60 % of the stops already cancelled
- 300 000 days-passengers lost
Source : Association des croisières du Saint-Laurent