Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ferry Rates Going Up !!!

With tourism already suffering from the effects of a high Canadian dollar the provincial government has decided to add to the problem by raising ferry fares !!! B.C. Ferries passengers will pay higher fares on all routes as of April 1,2012. The 4.15 per cent hike was approved last spring when the provincial government amended the Coastal Ferry Act. Fares will increase to $49.45 for vehicles, up from $47.25, on the main routes between Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay and Tsawwassen-Duke Point. On a recent trip to Vancouver many friends told me that they no longer visit Tofino as the US offers better value.It is free to cross the border,gas is cheaper,accommodation is cheaper and they can load up on cheap groceries. The surf website wannasurf.com now rates the weekend surf at Westport Washington at "ultra crowded". The provincial government is paying lip-service to the concerns of local business owners with a breakfast meeting while raising ferry fares at the same time !! http://www2.canada.com/westerly/story.html?id=338b5119-bc54-49f6-a0c8-68f1914f5a2c Higher ferry fares result in more people from the lower mainland taking their tourist dollars south to the U.S.The provincial government gets no benefit from this.When tourists stay in Canada there are benefits from increased employment,HST paid in Canada and the increase in income tax that accompanies increased employment. While the provincial government cannot change the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar they could certainly reduce ferry fares instead of increasing them !!

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