QUÉBEC, Oct. 3, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Port of Québec reached a new record for traffic today. More than 15,000 passengers and 5,000 crew from six cruise ships are in Québec to enjoy the beauty of the city and the hospitality of its residents. This represents both a proud moment and a significant logistical challenge for the Québec Port Authority (QPA).
Of the six ships, two are here for embarkation/disembarkation operations, namely the Legend of the Seas (wharf 30) and the Norwegian Dawn (wharf 22), while the Ruby Princess (wharf 103), the Seven Seas Navigator, the Cruise Europa (wharf 104) and the ms Maasdam (wharf 21) are making a stopover.
"Receiving six cruise ships at once with 20,000 passengers and crew means that we are fully booked for the first time in our history. This very busy day will require the involvement of several hundred workers pulling together to bring visitors a uniquely positive experience in our magnificent city. We want to thank all those involved in meeting the challenge: the City of Québec, tour operators, taxis, public transportation and emergency services," said Mario Girard, President and CEO of the QPA.
A logistical challenge that generates jobs
A qualified and trained workforce from various sectors is required to meet today's challenge and to offer cruise ship passengers a welcome that is at par with the world's premier destinations. To do that, 90 security guards, 60 dock labourers, 20 lines men, 25 customer service agents, 18 tourist information agents, 28 parking attendants and 100 tour guides are on duty.
A cruise forum is essential
The number of visitors brought to the city by this activity sector has grown from 35,000 to 164,000 over the past decade—a growth rate that we would like to maintain. A number of strategic committees were established to follow up on industry issues, following the international cruise forum held last February. The operational planning committee made it possible to plan the cruise season in advance and is focusing on high-traffic days in an effort to ensure smooth operations.
A traffic management structure called the Centre de Coordination d'évènements spéciaux [special events coordination centre] has been set up in collaboration with representatives from the City's transportation department. It brings the main actors in traffic and emergency management together on days like today and on other high traffic days. The structure has been in place since the beginning of the cruise season and implemented on very busy days, ensuring high-level cooperation between the Port and the City.
Growth that benefits the region's economy
Over the years, the Port of Québec has made progress in leaps and bounds, and last year reached a new record with the passage of 103 cruise ships and 164,000 visitors. Embarkation/disembarkation operations have increased by an average of about 20% per year, truly making the Port of Québec the top cruise port on the St. Lawrence River. Cruise ship activities in Québec generate $23M in economic impact yearly and also provide an exceptional international spotlight on this destination.
SOURCE: Administration portuaire de Québec
For further information: Anick Métivier, Assistant Director, Sustainable Development and Community Relations, Québec Port Authority, 418-648-3640, [email protected]