Key ports must have sufficient capacity to cater to the growing Australian appetite for cruising, industry figures have insisted, following another year of double digit growth.
According to a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia industry report released on Thursday, 833,348 Australians took a cruise holiday in 2013.
“Australian cruise passenger numbers increased 20% in 2013, reaffirming cruising as a boom tourism sector,” Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Ken Morrison said.
“However, we need to ensure plans are in place to provide the additional berths necessary to support the future growth of the sector.”
Carnival Australia chief executive Ann Sherry agreed that infrastructure issues in the key ports of Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns must be addressed in order to ensure continued growth.
Both Sherry and Morrison identified long term access to Sydney’s Garden Island during the peak summer season and filling the need for a dedicated cruise facility near the mouth of the Brisbane River as key priorities.
“In Cairns, it was vital for the planned dredging of Trinity Inlet to go ahead so that the Queensland city could achieve its potential as a cruising hub for the region including Papua New Guinea and Asia,” Sherry said.
"Cruising has already been confirmed as a three billion dollar a year industry in terms of the total annual economic activity that it generates. The latest CLIA Australasia report confirms that the passion for cruising continues to grow and that there is capacity for even further growth.”