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Greater Victoria, BC News


Date ArticleType
4/1/2016 Published Article
Bustling Inner Harbour Creating Jobs for Region

The Inner Harbour - one of our region's greatest assets - brings billions of dollars into the region and supports the employment of tens of thousands of people.

As an international gateway helping to link B.C. to external markets, the Inner Harbour welcomes visitors arriving from Port Angeles, Bellingham and Seattle by boat, float plane, and helicopter. In 2015, more than one million people came and left Greater Victoria via the Inner Harbour, nearly half as many passengers who fly through the Victoria International Airport. That activity contributes to the overall success of tourism – in 2015, we had a record 70 percent hotel occupancy year-round.

With the extra revenues in hand, new investment is flowing into our local economy through hotel renovations, planned new attractions and the like. Our tourism sector is busy preparing for what Tourism Victoria expects to be an additional four percent increase over the record-setting 2015. In addition to this activity, there has been a variety of improvements to Inner Harbour infrastructure.

One of the largest projects has been the upgrades and improvements to Belleville Terminal itself, which includes the replacement of Coho's wharf, dock and car ramp. The upgrades were part of the three-phase Belleville Terminal revitalization program that began in October and is being cost-shared between the province, Black Ball and Clipper Navigation Ltd. Coming soon is Phase 2, which will see upgrades to the David Foster Harbour Pathway, which spans more than five-kilometres in length from Rock Bay to Ogden Point.

Another noteworthy project is Harbour Air and Kenmore Air’s $4 million, 5,200-square-foot floating terminal, which was towed into place by barge and tug in early March. The terminal will be used for regular service operations, sightseeing tours and as a Canadian customs checkpoint. Harbour Air - in collaboration with the City of Victoria - will also be constructing a public plaza, which will include bike racks, benches and green space.

In addition to supporting the growth of Greater Victoria tourism – already injecting nearly $2-billion into our regional economy and employing 22,000 private sector employees – these renovation and infrastructure projects are creating jobs, both directly in terms of onsite construction and indirectly throughout the construction-related supply chain. These jobs support our families and Greater Victoria businesses, giving them the stability and income they need to stay in Victoria.

Published Business Examiner (April 2016)


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