The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) has today released the most comprehensive analysis and assessment ever on cruising in the Pacific.
The European Union (EU) funded Pacific Cruise Market Research and Intelligence report (PCMRI) is rich in detail, with comprehensive information that governments, tourism authorities, infrastructure investors, private sector interests, development partners and cruise lines themselves need to know to take advantage of the booming industry in the region.
The report reveals that the cruise industry in the Pacific is significant in four important respects: (i) in its scale and geographic coverage; (ii) its recent growth and its future potential; (iii) its contribution to many Pacific Island economies; (iv) for its opportunity to build on past successes.
The report focuses on regional constraints and cooperation to facilitate sustainable tourism growth in the cruise tourism sector. It explains issues, growth opportunities and potential economic benefits. It details limitations of geography and market preferences that require PICs to be realistic about plans and strategies.
“The project has amply fulfilled its three aims” says Mr. Ilisoni Vuidreketi, CEO of SPTO.
“It creates a platform for developing a coordinated and collaborative effort for cruise tourism in the Pacific by:
- providing essential information and analysis on capacity, source markets, destinations and assessing issues and challenges of operating in the region;
- helping Pacific Island Countries (PICs) understand how the cruise industry works, to set expectations and to address practicalities, including what facilities and services to provide;
- preparing PICs and their tourism interests to benefit from growth and success of cruise tourism in our part of the world”.
“This report is an extension of the work being carried out in the region to support our member countries set up cruise committees and create a consolidated approach to prepare their ports for visiting cruise liners”, Mr.Vuidreketi continued.
“The SPTO has conducted nine port preparedness workshops in the region with the longer term goal of offering a holistic ship-to-shore experience to cruise visitors which could entice them to come back for a longer holiday”, he added.
Welcoming the report, Cruise Liners International Association (CLIA) Australia Executive Director, Neil Linwood said cruise lines are eager to work with Pacific nations on the sustainable development of their cruise industry.
“With good planning, management and collaboration all Pacific island countries stand to benefit from the growth of cruising – economically and socially” Neil Linwood said.
“This project is not a strategy” points out Ted Blamey, CHART Principal. “But it provides the foundations for strategy development in each of the Pacific nations that embrace its lessons and findings”. “We had rich input during the project from CLIA, senior people in all the cruise lines and from Pacific NTOs” he says.
The research and consultations for the report was undertaken and prepared by Sydney-based CHART Management Consultants with support from CLIA Australasia and all cruise lines operating in the region.
The report provides a comprehensive platform of information, insights and intelligence on which the SPTO and its member countries will build on for the development of the Pacific Regional Cruise Development Strategy (PRCDS), which is expected to be completed in November 2015.
The PRCDS will enable individual PICs develop their cruise tourism strategies and assist line ministers, government ministries and authorities, donors and development partners to determine appropriate investments in infrastructure and the necessary upgrades and improvements at a destination level the country is ready for growth.