Cruise

Tasmania sets sights on cruise tourism boost with plans for new regional ports

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Tourism Tasmania has set its sights on almost doubling cruise spending within three years.

Outlined in Tourism Tasmania’s blueprint for sustainable cruise growth, the state government plans to have a greater number of expedition ships (carrying 100 to 500 passengers) call at regional ports from 2019 to 2022.

It also aims to consolidate large vessels to major ports in Hobart, Port Arthur and Burnie, and has implemented a voluntary policy excluding vessels over 100 passengers from Wineglass Bay.

A commitment has been received from all cruise lines to adhere to this policy for all future visits.

A limit on cruise vessels has been agreed voluntarily for visits to Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
A limit on cruise vessels has been agreed voluntarily for visits to Wineglass Bay, Tasmania.

This comes in lieu of ambitious plans to lift spending in Tasmania by cruise passengers from $30.5 million to $50 million by 2022, sustainably, across expedition, small, mid-large and mega vessels at viable ports.

Between 2012 and 2015, the number of cruise ship port calls in Tasmania averaged around 60 visits per year. Since then, Tourism Tasmania says port calls have grown to 135, with 175,000 unique cruise visitors expected in 2019-20.

Tourism Tasmania estimates that cruise passengers spent approximately $30.5 million in Tasmania during 2018-19. Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) estimates cruise lines contributed a further $15 million in port fees, shipping supplies and other corporate expenditure into the Tasmanian economy over the same period.

However, Tourism Tasmania said it is “important that Tasmania takes a strategic and coordinated approach to the way it attracts and manages cruise shipping as a destination”.

In order to ensure the industry remains sustainable and matches each regions infrastructure, Tourism Tasmania’s strategic management will be based on a set of sustainability principles.

These include:

  • Managing the number of vessels and passengers in port at any given time through sequencing and influencing, where possible, the type and size of ship.
  • Ensuring a wide dispersal of passengers to regional areas on day tours and shore excursions.
  • Ensuring areas with environmental or community sensitivities are managed appropriately through cross government and stakeholder collaboration.
  • Active pre- and post-season evaluation through the cruise stakeholder group, chaired by Tourism Tasmania, reporting to the access working group.

The state government organisation also plans to increase take-up of organised short tours by 2022, while introducing “turn-around” visits for small ships and partials for large ships where passengers start or end their trips in Tasmania.

Tourism Tasmania also aims to grow the number of returning tourists to Tasmania from cruise ships, each year, from 10,960 in 2019 to 15,000 in 2022.

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