Cruise

Agents, it’s time to have your say

Daisy Melwani

Travel agents are beginning to connect the dots between business success and the burgeoning growth in the cruise market, according to Carnival ceo, Ann Sherry.

Sherry said cruising was the standout success of tourism and Australian travel agents’ business gains were “inextricably linked” to cruise industry growth resulting in increased awareness to support investment to expand port facilities in the region.

“Travel agents are now asking what needs to happen to support further industry growth and what they can do to influence a positive outcome,” Sherry said.

“Agents can play an influential role in advocating for infrastructure investment and better access to port facilities in Sydney and Brisbane in particular.”

Sherry is amongst other cruise operators fighting to gain long-term access to Garden Island to assist with the overflow of ships ousted from Sydney Harbour in peak periods.

“[Travel agents] can also push for specific advances such as long term access to Garden Island to allow for expansion in Sydney as the gateway to Australia,” Sherry said.

“There are similar challenges in Brisbane where improved facilities are needed to support growth in the Queensland market.”

Sherry said agents were building “strong businesses” around cruising activity, helping achieve the industry’s target of a million passengers five years ahead of schedule.

The cruise industry contributed $3.2 billion into the economy and 11 years of 20% average growth in passenger numbers.

“Travel agents possess the industry knowledge and experience to get the message out that tourism is a vital part of the national economy, particularly as it reboots for the post resources boom era,” Sherry said.

“There are a number of things travel agents can do to influence outcomes.”

“They can advocate to their local MPs to make sure that relevant federal ministers have cruising and the opportunities it represents on the radar.”

 Image: Corbis

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