LETTER: Victoria cruise ship numbers don’t add up

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and others continue to quote a highly exaggerated numbers

The Victoria News editions of April 22 and May 1 both quote an erroneous number with respect to the economic impact within the local community of cruise ship visits to Ogden Point.

Although the $32 million estimate for the direct economic impact of a 230 cruise ship season is roughly correct, the $500,000 per cruise ship call is clearly wrong, makes no sense arithmetically, and is about three times larger than the actual economic impact number per average-sized cruise ship call.

The best estimate is $170,000 per average-sized cruise ship call, including both passenger and crew expenditures (of about $129,000) and direct cruise ship expenditures (of about $41,000).

Moreover, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and others continue to quote a highly exaggerated number for employment generated.

The appropriate number, commensurate with the $32 million estimate would be about 400 direct jobs, many of which are only seasonal jobs, and not the 880 number that continues to be quoted by GVHA and others. Confusion always results from applying large-area (national or provincial) multipliers when one is dealing only with local economic impacts.

Brian Scarfe, James Bay

(Editor’s note: The numbers used by the News were supplied by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority).