Rental car short­age may dev­as­tate ru­ral New­found­land tourism

The Compass - - JUNE - Clyde Jack­man, Min­is­ter Depart­ment of Tourism;

I am writ­ing to you to ask that you use all the re­sources you have to ad­dress the crit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion with re­gard to the avail­abil­ity of rental cars in the prov­ince this sum­mer.

News re­port in­di­cate there may be as many as 1,000 fewer rental cars avail­able in the prov­ince this sum­mer, due to the bank­ruptcy of one New­found­land agency and the slow de­liv­ery of cars from two of the ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers.

In past years the avail­abil­ity of cars has been a re­cur­ring prob­lem with many of our B& B op­er­a­tors who have seen reser­va­tions can­celled be­cause of the lack of rental cars. This year the prob­lem looks to be much worse. We have looked with ap­proval on the in­creased pro­vin­cial in­vest­ment in ad­ver­tis­ing and be­lieve you have done a fine job. But the $12 mil­lion spent this year to en­cour­age tourists to come to the prov­ince may be wasted if they can­not se­cure a rented car once they land.

I am es­pe­cially con­cerned for our mem­bers on the east coast of the prov­ince who rely heav­ily on fly in vis­i­tors who rent cars to tour the prov­ince.

And while I re­al­ize it is a dif­fi­cult thing to ad­dress from a gov­ern­ment level, it is crit­i­cal we im­prove the sit­u­a­tion now that the heart of the tourist sea­son is upon us.

Might I sug­gest you meet with the heads of the rental agen­cies to de­ter­mine the se­ri­ous­ness of the prob­lem and brain­storm with them ways to fill the gap cre­ated by the lack of suit­able rental ve­hi­cles.

Yours truly, Peter Fen­wick, Pres­i­dent

B&B As­so­ci­a­tion of New­found­land and Labrador

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