Posted on August 18, 2011
This morning BC Ferries reported that they’ve seen a 3.7 percent drop in passenger traffic and a 4.2 percent drop in vehicle traffic over our dismal summer. These drops equate to $20 million in lost profit that the company will have to eat up. [source]
BC Ferries’ CEO David Hahn points the finger at lousy weather and a strong Canadian dollar. He claims that more Americans are choosing to stay Stateside while Canadians are heading south the spend their dollars.
Hahn further states that he does not believe rising ferry fares play any part in BC Ferries’ financial loss this summer.
While my opinion on our ferry system is always admittedly biased, I have a hard time swallowing Hahn’s explanation for a few reasons:
- 1. Vancouver Island is stunningly beautiful, rain or shine. Rain has never stopped tourists from kayaking, surfing, hiking, wining and dining.
2. Of course there’s the temptation to spend the almighty Canadian dollar at Target, but that’s shopping – not tourism. BC residents will still take holidays.
3. In blaming a weak U.S. dollar, one could draw the conclusion that Hahn is implying that BC Ferries normally heavily relies on its traffic from American tourists rather than locals. That doesn’t add up.
I, for one, take the ferries far less than I used to.
Sound Off: What are your thoughts? Do you think the strong loonie and rainy days are to blame? Or are people avoiding the ferries because of steep increases in fares?