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Improving B.C.’s Cruise Ship Industry: Ogden Point Master Plan

Developing and improving cruise capacity in British Columbia is essential to maintaining our position as a key player in the global cruise industry. Owned and managed by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), Ogden Point in Victoria is Canada’s busiest cruise ship port of call, welcoming more than 550,000 passengers and more than 212,000 crew on 224 ships in 2016. GVHA has developed the Ogden Point Master Plan. The Plan will contribute to the province’s overall cruise capacity, establish B.C.’s second cruise ship “home port” , while boosting the visibility of B.C. cruise ports including Vancouver, Nanaimo, and Prince Rupert.

Background

The BC cruise ship industry is a significant contributor to the provincial economy and tourism sector. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (North West & Canada): 
  • the ports in Nanaimo, Prince Rupert, Victoria and Vancouver account for over half of all of Canada’s cruise passenger traffic. 
  • the cruise business in B.C. generates over 440,000 hotel night stays and some 6,000 direct and indirect jobs, and 
  • the arrival of each cruise ship in Vancouver stimulates more than $2 million in economic activity.
Cruise activity out of Ogden Point in Greater Victoria alone is estimated to have an economic impact of $100 million annually, providing an estimated 700 direct and indirect jobs in the region. Serving popular Alaska routes for all major international cruise lines, mostly out of the Port of Seattle, Victoria’s share of future cruise business is expected to grow by four to five percent per year over the next five years.

To sustainably build and manage future growth in cruise and other essential marine industries, GVHA has developed the Ogden Point Master Plan. The Master Plan is a vision for Ogden Point that builds capacity on its existing footprint. It enhances the cruise terminal buildings to create a tourism gateway for Victoria, builds on a partnership with the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations for a strong cultural presence on-site, and adds community-focused retail, service, and hospitality infrastructure. The Master Plan includes attractive investment and development potential for marine industries, building on the site’s long history as a viable working harbour.

Implementation of the Ogden Point Master Plan sets the stage for Victoria to become a home port by the early 2020s. An homeport in Victoria could attract pre- and post-cruise tourism business, and is expected to provide economic impact similar to home port activity seen in Vancouver, i.e. $2 million per ship per excursion.

GVHA intends to apply for federal support under the Building Canada Fund for construction of a new cruise terminal.

THE CHAMBER RECOMMENDS

That the Provincial Government:

1. endorse the application for federal funding to develop Ogden Point, including the upgrading of the new cruise terminal, and

2. support the development of tourism attractions for cruise passengers in all regions of B.C. currently supporting the existing cruise infrastructure.

CHAMBER
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