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Pax book through agents, Darwin cruise survey reveals 

September 16, 2015 Cruise, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A Tourism Research Australia survey into cruise ship visitors to Darwin, released yesterday, reveals how dependent the passengers are on travel agents – almost three-quarters (74%) booked though agents.

Nearly four in 10 passengers (39%) booked their cruise in person with a travel agent. A further 20% booked through a travel agent online, while 15% booked by phone with a travel agent.

Just over 20% of passengers made their booking directly with the cruise company (14% online and 7% by phone).

The research was conducted through face-to-face interviews with 974 cruise ship passengers and 43 crew from eight ships. The ships had docked at Darwin between 2 March and 26 April 2015 across different times of the week http://eventscrm.ttgasia.com/ttg2016/itcmchina/buyer/itcmbuyer.asp?code=GlobalTravelMedia(including weekdays and weekends). The cruise ships selected covered a good mix of visitor types, cruise companies, and ship sizes.

The survey also found passengers loved Darwin. About half of all passengers (49%) viewed the inclusion of Darwin on the cruise itinerary as an important factor in selecting their cruise. First-time visitors to Darwin (56%) and domestic passengers (51%) were more likely than repeat visitors (42%) and international passengers (46%) to regard the inclusion of Darwin on the itinerary as important.

Australia’s cruise industry has experienced strong rates of growth over the past decade. In 2013-14, the number of cruise ship visits increased 13.4%. The Northern Territory (NT) benefits significantly from the cruise sector. In 2013-14, the sector contributed approximately AUD 54 million directly to the NT economy.

Tourism Research Australia (TRA) – in partnership with Tourism NT – contracted Colmar Brunton to survey visiting cruise ship passengers and find their thoughts on their visits.

  • Nearly all passengers surveyed spent money while in Darwin. Average expenditure per passenger was AUD 94.
  • Shopping and food and drink were the items most often purchased by passengers while in Darwin.
  • Average spend per passenger was much higher for pre-paid organised tours than for other purchases.
  • There was a high rate of satisfaction with nearly all aspects of Darwin and the overall visitor experience.
  • On average, passengers participated in around five self-guided activities in Darwin.
  • Walking around/general sightseeing and shopping were the most common activities.
  • Nearly one-third of passengers went on an organised tour. The majority were first-time visitors to Darwin.
  • The rates of likely return to and recommendation of Darwin as a travel destination were high and an indicator of Darwin’s appeal to cruise passengers.

Edited by Peter Needham

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