Prince Rupert Tourism president disappointed in extended cruise ship ban

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The president of Prince Rupert Tourism says he is disappointed in the federal government's decision to extend the ban on cruise ships in Canada's waters until February 28th, 2022.
 
Scott Farwell said that although he's not opposed to the ban, he thinks the government should have taken a wait-and-see approach to determine if changing conditions in the pandemic -- such as lower daily case counts and widespread vaccinations -- could eventually make cruise ship travel a possibility. 

"We're seeing some of the provinces open up as vaccinations increase. We've seen the U.S. today has announced their lowest increase in infections in the last couple of months, so you're starting to see that flattening of the curve.

"I think we should just take a bit more of a longer wait-and-see to see what's going to happen. We're talking about closing an industry that's really only three or four months from before it even begins. So to close it until about February 2022, at this point in time, I think is premature."

Farwell also made note of the economic impact that a second year without cruise ships -- or the passengers they bring -- will have on Prince Rupert's economy. 

"We've got some amazing products here in Prince Rupert. We've got the Northern B.C. Museum, the North Pacific Cannery, a variety of wildlife and recreational activities. And for those people to be on the sidelines for two years without income from the cruise line is a real challenge."

According to the Port of Prince Rupert's 2019 economic impact report, cruise ship staff and passengers spent approximately 832-thousand dollars in Prince Rupert in 2018.