I read with interest the article in your Feb. 22 issue boasting that tourist spending surpassed $1 billion last year.
When former premier Danny Williams was elected, he immediately commissioned a pre-feasibility study on a fixed link across the Strait of Belle Isle, a distance of nine miles. Hatch Mott MacDonald was given the contract by the Harris Centre.
This is one of the largest consulting firms in the world and they employ hundreds of highly qualified engineers.
They concluded that a fixed link was technically feasible and recommended that a full feasibility study should be undertaken.
The report was released in 2005 and, to date, absolutely no action has been undertaken by our provincial government to implement their recommendation.
Consequently, tourists travelling by car from the rest of North America have to pay, if they have a cabin, $700 return fare on Marine Atlantic and if they have a trailer, the cost will be $2,500.
By comparison, the return fare from Prince Edward Island on their fixed link is $42.
I think you would agree most tourists are not millionaires and these costs would inhibit many of them from choosing this province as their vacation destination.
I am absolutely amazed that organizations such as Hospitality NL, a restaurant association or a bed and breakfast association are not leading the charge to influence our government to act on the main recommendation of the Hatch Mott MacDonald report to undertake a full feasibility study.
It is all the more amazing when you consider we are on the doorstep of 313 million American and 34 million Canadian citizens who could travel to this province by road without having to pay the exorbitant ferry costs and uncertainty of interruption in their travel schedule due to unfavourable weather conditions.
It would be interesting to project how many billions more tourists would spend if we had a fixed link.