The operator of the Nova Scotia-Maine ferry service saw an uptick in ferry ticket sales since its last monthly update in August.
In a news release on Tuesday, Bay Ferries Limited said as of Sept. 1, it has sold tickets for 35,056 passengers who will travel on the Cat throughout the 2022 operating season. That's 6,518 more tickets than in the last report on Aug. 1 (28,538 tickets).
Bay Ferries said it transported 28,349 passengers and 11,459 vehicles as of Sept. 1. It said the July and August totals represented 80 per cent of the traffic to date.
"Based on current bookings and historical sales for previous years in operation (from another port) since 2016, this suggests annual traffic in the range of 37,000-41,000 passengers," Bay Ferries said in a news release.
Bay Ferries noted the majority of its customers are booking and travelling within a two- to three-week advance window.
"This is consistent with observed national trends suggesting that U.S. resident vehicle traffic to Canada continues recovering from the pandemic but is still below 2019 levels," the company noted.
The company said it is "confident" the numbers for 2022 will fall between the 2016 and 2018 season totals, despite the ferry not operating for three years.
It said final numbers for the season "will continue to be influenced by changing external conditions" like the cost of fuel and rising inflation, adaptation to COVID-19 and "encumbrances, or perceived encumbrances, of international cross border travel (vaccine requirement for entrants to Canada and ArriveCan travel formalities)."
As of Sept. 1, the company said the Cat completed 84 round trips with six round trips cancelled due to weather.
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