Marine Atlantic ferry

The chair of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador says the latest increase by Marine Atlantic will affect the province's tourism operators. (CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador tourism operators are looking to government to help them find a solution to the increasing cost of travelling on Marine Atlantic.

Darlene Thomas, chair of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, said the Crown corporation's recent hike of three per cent is the third increase in as many years.

"In itself, three per cent probably isn't a lot, but there has been an eleven per cent increase in the last three years, so it is fairly significant when you look at it that way," said Thomas. 

She said the latest increase will affect tourism operators.

"It can affect us. In order to grow the industry, we do need to have all of our partners working for tourism. Passenger traffic has declined in each of the last few years, and has been on a downward trend since 2002," Thomas said.

"Since the quality of the service Marine Atlantic offers has improved dramatically, it suggests that, combined with increased gas prices and travelling distance time, price is a deterrent and certainly putting downward pressure on the number of travellers.”

Marine Atlantic said the increase is necessary to recover the costs of materials, supplies and labour.