February 1st, 2021
For Immediate Release
St. John’s – Hospitality NL is concerned over the recent changes made by Marine Atlantic Inc. to its scheduling and rates. Effective today, reservations for travel after April 1 include an increase of 2% for commercial fares for their Gulf route, an increase of 2.5% for passenger and commercial fares for Argentia – North Sydney and an increase of 3.4% on both routes for the drop trailer management fee.
“Considering the economic climate our members are operating in and the uncertainty they are facing in the tourism industry, this news comes at a particularly challenging time,” said Brenda O’Reilly, Chair of Hospitality NL. “This is simply the wrong time to be making these changes. By decreasing the affordability of this type of access and implementing differing rate structures, it deters travellers and puts businesses under immense pressure. Access is a crucial component to the Tourism Industry and by adding additional access barriers for entry to the province, it will dramatically impact our ability to welcome visitors and foster the growth tourism businesses need to survive.”
As a result of COVID-19, the infrastructure of tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador has changed, with new expectations, demands and realities. Operators have had to invest in PPE, marketing materials and signage re public health protocols and other materials. Access to supplies and resources has been limited and the added cost to do business has had a significant impact on tourism operations.
“Our industry needs as much predictability as possible,” said Craig Foley, CEO, Hospitality NL. “Implementing an increase to cost of goods for tourism businesses, who are already operating on razor thin margins, will have immediate and long-term effects on the industry. Furthermore, the recent decrease in air access means tourism operators are more dependant on ferry travel than ever before.”
“We will continue to advocate on behalf of the tourism industry to the Federal Government to reduce the cost recovery for operations of Marine Atlantic in an effort to keep rates for travellers and products and services affordable.” concluded O’Reilly.
There are over 2,700 tourism-related businesses in this province, 78% of these are small businesses creating upwards of 20,000 jobs for residents of NL. COVID-19 has impacted the province, its communities and the way people do business. Tourism has been one of the hardest hit sectors and will be one of the last to recover.
Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial tourism industry association for over 37 years, is dedicated to advancing growth in tourism through advocacy efforts, skills and knowledge development and membership opportunities.
Manager, Advocacy and Communications
P: 709-722-2000 ext. 231
February 1st, 2021