The Financial Argument

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast and northern Vancouver Island are areas of stunning natural beauty. There’s an enormous range of wilderness and wildlife to see and appreciate, all part of the Discovery Coast Circle Tour made possible by the Discovery Coast ferry.  These regions combine to generate $3.5 million per year in tourism revenues as a direct result of the ferry service, and the Discovery Coast Circle Tour as a whole generates $5.6 million per year.

BC Ferries will save a mere $725,000 per year by cancelling the route, but when you include Provincial Sales Tax the Discovery Coast ferry service actually generates a net profit for the province.  Its cancellation will cost our economy millions in lost revenue and tax dollars. It’s a short-sighted response that doesn’t look at the whole economic picture.

  • The annual value of the tourism industry in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast and northern Vancouver Island directly related to the ferry – $3,500,000
  • The annual value of the tourism industry along the entire Discovery Coast Circle Tour route – $5,600,000
  • The number of 2013 “room nights” sold in northern Vancouver Island and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast to tourists traveling the Discovery Coast Circle Tour – over 9,000
  • The loss BC Ferries projects to recover annually by cancelling the route – $725,000
  • Provincial Sales Tax generated by tourism on the Circle Tour route – $783,000
  • Net profit realized by the Province from the Discovery Coast ferry service including sales tax – $58,000
  • Percentage of tourism businesses in the Chilcotin Coast projected to close if the ferry is cancelled – 47%
  • Cost to the province in jobs, income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, welfare, and other economic losses if the tourism industry collapses in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast and northern Vancouver Island – $millions

(source: Discovery Coast Tourism Economic Impact Analysis, Tourism Industry Association of BC, January 2014)

Instead of cutting service and raising rates, BC Ferries should focus on cutting internal costs and improving revenues instead.

See our review of BC Ferries Management and Operations for more information.

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