September 17, 1997
(Works, Services and Transportation)
The following is being distributed at the request of
traffic shows strong growth
Marine Atlantic ferries carried
more than 247,000 passengers between Newfoundland and the
mainland during the 12-week summer schedule which ended last
Saturday. Both the Argentia and Port aux Basques routes showed
substantial increases over the corresponding period a year
A total of 43,315 people rode the
Joseph and Clara Smallwood to and from Argentia, a gain of 14 per
cent from 1996. The Caribou and Smallwood together carried
204,068 passengers between North Sydney and Port aux Basques,
representing five per cent growth from last summer. The total
increase for both routes combined was 15,566 passengers.
"The Cabot 500 summer has
been very successful for Marine Atlantic," says gulf service
general manager Peter McInnis. "Our careful preparations
paid off, and everything went exceptionally well."
Customer service surveys
conducted on board the ferries throughout the season indicate
high levels of satisfaction. Of the 521 passengers interviewed,
96 per cent responded positively about their overall Marine
"We believe the traffic
statistics considerably understate the actual increase in
visitors to the province this summer," Mr. McInnis said.
"Although our reporting system doesn't capture the origin of
our customers, it was very obvious that many thousands of
Newfoundlanders stayed home this summer to enjoy the Cabot
celebrations. I therefore believe our ships carried a higher
proportion of visitors than ever before."
Contact: Ted Bartlett, Director
Public Relations, (709) 772-5731 or (506) 851-3611.