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Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry Welcomes Australian Foreign Minister’s Comments On Carnival Australia-Ausaid Pacific Partnership

February 24, 2014 Cruise No Comments Email Email

IN July last year, Carnival Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AusAID reflecting the two organisations’ joint commitment to connect cruising and economic opportunity for communities in the Pacific Islands.

Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry AO today welcomed positive comments about the initiative from the Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop in part of the Minister’s recent address to the 2014 Australian Aid and International Development Policy Workshop.

In her address, the Minister said:(left to right) Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry, Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil and AusAID Director General Peter Baxter at the signing of the Carnival Australia-AusAID Memorandum of Understanding in Sydney in July last year.

“A great example in our region is our partnership with Carnival (Australia) to provide increased economic opportunity through the tourism industry. The Pacific is a magnificent tourism magnet and cruising is big business. Carnival brings over a quarter of a million tourists to the Pacific each year. But we need to bring local industries to Carnival and that is what we are doing through this partnership to increase local earnings. So Carnival for example has agreed to source the bottled water from a Vanuatu supplier and is in discussions to source local coffee.

This might seem obvious but it wasn’t happening. So the opportunities are going to stretch much further than just sales. Taxi drivers and coffee shops and local tourism operators, fruit and vegetable growers on a lot of the islands all have the potential to benefit when connected to the tourism supply chain. And that is what we need to do to get local businesses into regional and global supply chains.”

Ms Sherry said it was encouraging that Carnival Australia’s commitment to sustainable tourism in the South Pacific was being acknowledged in such a positive way by the government. “One of the most satisfying elements of the stunning growth of cruising in recent years is the opportunity it has provided to work with island communities to build an economic future around this surge in tourism,” Ms Sherry said.

In another initiative announced recently in Vanuatu, the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with the cruise industry including Carnival Australia and the Australian Government to measure the economic impact of cruising. The aim of the study to be conducted in Vanuatu is to identify the direct and indirect economic impacts of cruise tourism and to encourage the growth of the cruise sector and increase its benefits for local businesses. Another objective is to create the economic platform to encourage investment in infrastructure that is vital to sustain the continued growth of cruise tourism in Vanuatu. The study is expected to be completed by June of this year.

In the three years to 2013, cruise passenger arrivals in Vanuatu have increased from 140,000 to 210,000 and cruise ship visitors account for around 70 per cent of all visitors to Vanuatu. “From an industry perspective, we are keen to better understand the contribution cruise ship visits make to the economy and how we can deepen that impact,” said Neil Linwood Senior Vice President for Strategic Development at Carnival Australia.

“Vanuatu is an important destination for Carnival Australia and we would like to continue to grow this market. The study will provide a common understanding and appreciation of the value of cruise tourism which will lead to greater engagement and collaboration among key stakeholders in order to maximise the economic opportunity.”

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