P&O Ferries has refuted claims that the cancellation of the Troon route has damaged tourism in the Larne area.
As reported in the Larne Times, accommodation providers in the town are fearing for their future due to plummeting visitor numbers over the past month – with some guest houses down by as much as 50 per cent compared to the same period last year.
And they believe the axing of the Troon ferry has played a crucial role in this downward trend.
The loss-making Irish Sea route was officially scrapped by operators P&O Ferries back in January.
However, the company has claimed that the loss of the Troon route should not negatively impact on business owners in Larne.
And it has in fact stated that passenger numbers using the Port of Larne are actually on the rise.
A P&O spokesperson told the Times: “The Troon route was seasonal and only ever operated from March to October each. The traffic from Troon is all transferring to the Cairnryan route and so summer hotel/B&B bookings should not be impacted by the closure of the Troon route.
“Ferry market volumes into NI in the first quarter of this year are all strong. Tourist passenger numbers are up 9.5 per cent from 2015 and tourist cars are up 11.3 per cent on 2015. Freight volumes are also up by 4.5 per cent.
“P&O Ferries volumes via Larne are also up by similar amounts.”