Re: front-page story in the Aug. 27 edition of The NEWS (‘The best July ever’).
It’s nice to hear that Sunrise Ridge Resort is having a good summer. Considering the fact that they have been in business primarily since the 2008 economic decline, a good summer after five years is well deserved. Increased business from Washington state also makes sense since the number of unemployed has dropped by 19 per cent since 2012 (WSESD, June 2013). Clearly their economy is on the rebound.
The “best July ever,” as quoted by the PQBTA, is a gross exaggeration. Best July weather perhaps. According to YVR records, it most definitely was.
A few percent increase, say three-four, in travel dollars spent is a more realistic forecast. According to the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), June 2013 results for Americans travelling to Canada actually experienced a slight decline overall (-0.8 per cent).
Also in June, the CTC reported significant decreases in travel from our next two biggest customers: Germany and the United Kingdom. Chinese, Australian and Mexican tourist numbers are on the upswing but are they frequenting PQB?
The World Tourism Organization has forecast annual growth in the Americas at an average of 3.8 per cent a year through 2020. We will be fortunate to hit that mark based on our Provincial objective to increase tourism revenue by only five per cent a year. A more aggressive target is required to realize significant growth.
We have a provincial carbon tax that adds 6.67 cents to each litre of gas sold. Ferry rates increased by 4.1 per cent in 2013 and will increase another 7.9 per cent by 2015. Current usage numbers (July, 2013) are below 2009 figures.
We are pricing ourselves out of the non-luxury market. Adding insult to injury, provincial unemployment in July increased from 6.3-6.7 per cent. The best July ever? Not likely.