Despite a challenging economic environment, 2010 has proven to be an extremely successful year for the Atlantic Canada cruise industry. The Atlantic Canada Cruise Association (ACCA) is crediting much of the region’s success to continuing efforts to promote Atlantic Canada as a unique and exciting cruise line destination and its marketing strategy which invites cruise passengers to “Journey through Our Mystical Land.”

“Our government is pleased to work with the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association (ACCA) to profile the Atlantic region as a premier cruise line destination,” said the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway “We understand the importance of the tourism sector to the region’s economy and we are committed to supporting its continued development and growth.”

The numbers for the 2010 season were increased slightly from the previous year, with just over 805,000 passengers and crew visiting Atlantic Canada between April and November. The ACCA estimates that direct spending by passenger and crew was approximately $45 million in 2010, up from $40 million in 2009 and 2008 alike. While other markets experienced a slower cruise season, Atlantic Canada again saw an increase in direct spending, which is encouraging despite difficult market conditions. With cruise line spending added in, the ACCA reports that the total economic impact generated in the region was $89 million in direct expenditures.  

These figures are based on a comprehensive cruise industry impact study, The Economic Contribution of the International Cruise Industry in Canada.  Using 2007 as the base year, the report estimated cruise industry spending in Atlantic Canada by cruise lines, passengers, and crew generated significant employment, income and other economic benefits for the region.

Betty MacMillan, Chair of the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association, says that ACCA’s goal is to continue to grow the cruise industry in Atlantic Canada.  “We have seen the results of our marketing efforts as the number of passengers visiting our region and the associated economic impact has consistently increased over the last number of years,” said MacMillan.  “Atlantic Canada is an inherent part of the Canada New England cruise itinerary experience, where we see future growth opportunities to generate port calls for our established ports, as well as our developing small ports.  As we pursue new opportunities, we recognize that in order to facilitate additional growth over the mid- to long-term several ports require additional berths to take advantage of growth opportunities.  We will continue to work with our ports in promoting the need for investment in infrastructure by emphasizing the economic impact of the cruise industry in the Atlantic region,” says Ms. MacMillan.

The Atlantic Canada Cruise Association is a partnership between ports, tourism and cruise ship interests in each of the four Atlantic Provinces, ACOA and Parks Canada.  The mission of the Association is to nurture, grow and develop Atlantic Canada’s port infrastructure product and destination experiences to meet the needs of the growing cruise market.  ACCA actively promotes Atlantic Canada as a “Journey through Our Mystical Land”.