JOEL Katz, Managing Director CLIA Australasia
Cruise Economic impact continues
During October we celebrated the start of the 2018/19 summer cruise season. As we head into another bumper season, Australians can look forward to a parade of brand new ships as well as some beloved favourites this summer.
With a total of four ships making their maiden visit down under, including two of the newest ships at sea, there’s no doubt that Australia has the attention of the world’s leading cruise lines.
In addition to the visiting ships, locally based ships will continue to offer a variety of sailings around the country, ensuring ports right around Australia receive the economic benefits that cruise tourism delivers.
In late 2017, CLIA and the Australian Cruise Association signed a memorandum of understanding for the two associations to work together with common objectives and a shared focus to develop, grow and strengthen the Australian cruise sector. In line with the MOU agreed between CLIA and ACA, a key deliverable was to produce an economic impact analysis that meets the needs of both organisations’ constituencies, and the industry as a whole.
With so many travel agents generating an increased percentage of their revenue from cruise, it’s imperative that we understand the economic impact of cruise. Many travel agents are small business owners, and the success of the industry has a direct impact on your business.
What this analysis report reveals is that our industry continues to generate significant national and regional economic activity, driving economic output and value, and creating thousands of jobs and other economic benefits that flow to businesses and communities far beyond the ships and ports.
The new report provides compelling evidence of the value of the cruise industry and how crucial its continued growth is to the economy. With a record number of cruise ships making a record number of visits to Australian ports, the cruise industry contributes close to $5 billion to the Australian economy.
Each cruise ship visit delivers a big economic boost from port charges, to fuel and, most importantly, local supplies like Australian meat, dairy, wine and fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition, the visitor economy — including travel agents, hotels, car-hire, and airlines — benefits from the activity of the cruise industry.
While this is good news for our economy and your business, it is also a timely reminder to NSW that without necessary investment in infrastructure, further growth of the industry is limited.
Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia are all investing in cruise infrastructure, as is Auckland, but with no more room for large cruise ships in Sydney during the peak cruising season, NSW faces the prospect of inhibited growth which would have a massive flow-on effect to local economies across a range of sectors.
We encourage you to reach out to your local and federal MPs and let them know why the continued growth of the cruise industry is important to your business.