Another record increase in Australian cruise passenger numbers – the thirteenth consecutive year of double digit industry growth – has confirmed Australia-wide momentum in the expansion of cruise generated economic benefits.
Carnival Australia Executive Chairman Ann Sherry said the latest industry figures also highlighted the growing maturity of the Australian cruise market and the abundance of choice Australians enjoy in brands, ships, itineraries and destinations.
“We often refer to the multiplier effect of cruise tourism and now see more evidence of its national momentum as more ports and regional destinations become cruise hubs in their own right,” Ms Sherry said. “The benefits of cruising are no longer limited to one or two major cities.”
The new Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) Australasia figures show a 42 per cent leap in the number of Australians cruising on domestic cruises which helped drive strong growth in the total number of Australians taking an ocean cruise worldwide last year.
“With its seven distinctive cruise brands, Carnival Australia is delighted to have contributed significantly to the latest surge in passenger numbers and the dramatic geographic expansion of cruising across Australia.
“In recent years, we have opened 14 new destinations to cruise ship visits while home porting ships in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle, Melbourne and, later this year, in Cairns, our first regional port to have a ship home ported.
“In the light of the latest figures, in which passenger numbers increased by nearly 15 per cent to a record 1,058,781 in 2015, nearly two million Australians cruising by 2020 is possible.”
Reflecting the Australia-wide reach of cruising, new cruise destinations have opened up (many by Australia’s home brand P&O Cruises) in a number of states including:
- Queensland – Hamilton Island, Gladstone, Fraser Island, Mooloolaba and Moreton Island
- NSW – Eden
- South Australia — Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island and Robe
- Victoria – Mornington and Portland
- Western Australia – Esperance and Busselton (Margaret River District)
Ms Sherry said the cruise industry — the most successful sector of Australian tourism — was already generating $3.6 billion in total economic activity nationally and supporting 15,000 full-time jobs,
However, the industry report has again highlighted the need for investment in port facilities particularly in Sydney as Australia’s cruise gateway. Carnival Australia continues to seek the certainty of long term access to berths east of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Carnival Australia accounts for seven iconic cruise brands – P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises World Cruising and Seabourn.