RVs and the economy

RVs and the economy I don't know if anybody noticed over the last week how empty the restaurants, stores and parking lots are. It's spring break and, to me, it looks like we have more than the usual amount of escapees to the sunny, warm destinations on t

I don’t know if anybody noticed over the last week how empty the restaurants, stores and parking lots are.

It’s spring break and, to me, it looks like we have more than the usual amount of escapees to the sunny, warm destinations on the globe.

I don’t think people in the Yukon have experienced a loss of income. And the public is spending and travelling when they can. I am sure businesses are preparing for a change. Having said that, I need to report RV rental business bookings are up from last year.

Yes, I said up.

Last year, I reported on the RV rental business situation in Western Canada. These get 75 to 85 per cent of their clientele from Europe. Although we saw a switch of European clients to the United States due to a lower US dollar, we filled all our units with Canadians travelling within Canada, most taking advantage of the flight with Air North.

We expect to have a good season in 2009, outperforming 2008. As such, we are bringing more RV units up this spring.

RV sales, on the other hand, are down and will be for a while since the credit crunch has limited the number of potential buyers.

The latest reports on cruise line travel and other tourism segments, reported in your newspaper and on the radio, are basically stating the obvious. For three years, the cruise line industry has been experiencing a downturn in high-end clientele.

The Mediterranean has been the hot destination for the affluent for three years. Going on an Alaskan cruise is now for the average Joe. As such, the prices for seven-day cruises are as low as $390. Average expenditures for cruise passengers on board range from $1,000 to $2,000. Cruise lines are making money on their trips, only not as much as they used to make.

Please ask the tourism department how many inquiries they are getting. My information is that they are up from last year.

Leo Boon, manager, Cruise Canada Inc. RV rentals

Whitehorse