The seaplane industry in Victoria accounts for $70.1 million of economic activity according to a recent study.

Seaplanes have business travellers and tourists to thank for high economic impact

According to a recent study, 16 per cent of business travellers would not come to Victoria if it were not for the seaplanes.

Seaplanes coming into Victoria, the Black Ball Coho Ferry and the Clipper combined have a higher economic impact than the entire arts and culture sector in Greater Victoria, according to a local expert.

Brock Smith, a business professor at the University of Victoria, conducted a study on the economic impact of Harbour Air Seaplanes, West Coast Air and Kenmore Air in Victoria. Smith has previously done studies on the Clipper and the Coho.

“The study looks at the spending of the seaplane operation themselves and then the spending of visitors to Victoria or to Greater Victoria that the seaplanes bring in, then uses a multiplier to demonstrate what impact that direct spending would have as it multiplies through the economy,” said Smith.

Direct spending of seaplane operations, such as fuel and employee expenses, and the multipliers accounts for $8 million. Spending in the city by seaplane passengers generates almost $63 million in net income. In total, the economic impact is $70.1 million, said Smith.

According to Smith, about half of the seaplane passengers coming into Victoria are business travellers coming over for meetings, and the other half are tourists.

On average, seaplane passengers spend $272 per visit when they come to Victoria, said Smith.

“But about half of them are spending very little because they’re not staying overnight, and the other half are spending quite a lot, on average close to $500 per stay,” said Smith. “So the seaplane passengers that are staying overnight, they’re pumping a lot of money into the economy in terms of hotels and restaurants.”

Smith added that if there was a way to get those day-trip passengers to stay overnight, it would generate significantly more revenue for the city.

In a survey, Smith asked business travellers if they would come to Victoria even if there was no seaplane service, and 16 per cent of them said they would not come. Although many do not stay overnight, without those passengers, the positive economic impact would decrease, said Smith.

In addition, Smith said the quantitative data does not account for the business that is being conducted by those travellers.

“They’re having business meetings, and the outcomes of those meetings is also contributing to our economy, [but we] can’t really quantify that.”

By comparison, Smith found previously that the Coho generates $124 million of economic activity and the Clipper generates about $59 million, putting seaplane operations in the middle..

Around 27,000 Harbour Air seaplanes land and take off in Victoria every year, said Randy Wright, executive vice-president of Harbour Air. In addition, he said there are close to a quarter million passengers every year.

“It has gone up a bit, with tourism being the main component of that,” said Wright. “Tourism was much better this year.”

 

Just Posted

Choir study shows people with dementia can learn new songs

Volunteers need for Alzheimer’s helpline, World Alzheimer’s Day is Sept. 21

Victoria’s ‘Penny Girl’ to tell story of gender transition in new documentary

Frankie Edroff will write film, Empress Avenue Media to direct, produce project funded by Telus Storyhive

Four Greater Victoria mayors to be acclaimed in fall election

No election in District of Highlands with six council candidates up for six seats

First phase of Highway 14 improvement project nears completion

Province ready to start more work this fall in Sooke

United Way asks Victoria to share local love

2018 campaign aims to raise another $5M

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Pot, cash, mansions: Judge divvies up illegal estate of divorcing B.C. couple

The Smiths ran a multi-million marijuana operation that spanned three counties

Most Read