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Victoria cruise industry generates nearly $100 million to regional economy: study

In front of an impressive backdrop of Princess Cruises' Grand Princess in the Esquimalt Graving Dock drydock, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority announced Friday that the cruise tourism industry created $96 million in direct and indirect economic impact to the region for 2012.

Direct cruise-related expenditures – from passengers, crew and services rendered while ships were in port – from the 224 calls amounted to $49 million, according a study commissioned by the harbour authority. Report authors Business Research and Economic Advisors also found that the industry generated 368 direct full-and part-time jobs, yielding about $13.6 million in wages.

Harbour authority CEO Curtis Grad called 2012 a record year for the industry in Victoria. He said having specific numbers about how cruise passengers and crew are spending their money, the services available here and the overall significance of cruise tourism to the local economy helps in the GVHA's marketing of the region and port facilities.

Victoria Shipyards vice-president and general manager Malcolm Barker said his company has had a relationship with Princess Cruises since the 1970s. The company will be doing various projects on the Grand Princess at various points over the next six to seven years and provide work for 400 shipyard workers in that time. Victoria Shipyards has already received inquiries about doing major refit work on two other cruise ships for 2014 and more for 2015, he added.

While 2013 saw a reduction in cruise ship visits to the Ogden Point terminal to 203, next year 210 calls are scheduled, with an estimated 490,000 visitors onboard.

ddescoteau@vicnews.com

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