Aussie cruise sector makes big economic waves

Cruise tourism has fully recovered from the pandemic - and then some. Janie Medbury writes.

AUSTRALIA’s cruise industry is celebrating a stellar recovery from pandemic, with a new economic impact assessment showing it contributed an record-breaking $5.63 billion to the Australian economy in its first year of resurgence.

The Value of Cruise Tourism, which was jointly commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the Australian Cruise Association (ACA), reveals that the economic output generated by cruise tourism Down Under for the 2022-23 financial year exceeded the pre-COVID 2019-19 figure by 22.1%.

“Cruising returned to Australia much later than other parts of the world, but the ships have been resoundingly welcomed by cruise fans who have been heading back to sea in huge numbers,” CLIA Managing Director in Australasia Joel Katz said. “The 2022-23 year has brought higher levels of passenger spending, higher levels of cruise line spending, and record levels of economic output around Australia.”

The promising data comes as the Port Authority of NSW launches the free Sydney Travel Guide in partnership with Big Splash Media today, which cruise passengers arriving at both the Overseas Passenger Terminal and White Bay Passenger Terminal will be able to grab a free copy of. The 100-page guide includes maps and essential travel information, as well as things to see and do in the city.

Katz said the booklet is “an incredible free resource that supports tourism businesses and the more than one million cruise tourists who visit Sydney and NSW each year by cruise ship”, and will “help local businesses present their products and services to cruise visitors and crew looking to spend their money locally”.

Meanwhile, travelBulletin‘s Bruce Piper has done a deep dive into the latest big moves within the cruise industry, including the appointment of Steve Brady to head up Helloworld’s cruise operations – read it here.

Pictured: NSW Minister for Transport Jo Haylen, CLIA MD Joel Katz and Port Authority of NSW CEO Phil Holliday show off the new Sydney Travel Guide.

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