October 9, 1998
(Works, Services and Transportation)

The following is being released at the request of Marine Atlantic:

Marine Atlantic reports traffic increase

More than quarter of a million passengers rode Marine Atlantic ferries to and from Newfoundland during this year's prime tourism season. Totals for the period June 19 to September 12, when the company's summer schedule was in effect, showed 256,695 riders. That is an increase of 9,312 people, or 3.8 per cent, over the same time last year.

"It seems a virtual certainty that we will set a new record in 1998, and surpass the 420,000 passenger mark by year's end - for the first time ever," says acting CEO Darrell Weaver. Traffic has been on an upswing since January, with the year-to-date passenger totals now up by over six per cent.

He noted that the increase this year is particularly significant, in that some people may have been expecting a drop in tourist traffic in the aftermath of the Cabot 500 celebrations.

Meanwhile, Marine Atlantic has its schedules for the next season in place at the earliest date ever. The reservations bureau began accepting bookings for 1999 on October 5.

"We are extremely pleased that we have been able to achieve this objective, because it is very important to the motorcoach tour industry," Mr. Weaver said.

Contact: Ted Bartlett, Director of Public Relations, (506) 851-3611 or (709) 772-5731.

1998 10 09 2:00 p.m.


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