Cruise

Pacific cruise market a game changer for industry

Hannah Edensor

The South Pacific is cruising’s new frontrunner when it comes to setting sail down under.

Last week, the CLIA2014 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market Report confirmed that out of all the million plus Aussies boarding cruise ships, a massive 39% are taking to the South Pacific.

So it makes sense that the newly released South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) analysis on cruising in the Pacific is of major interest.

The European Union (EU) funded Pacific Cruise Market Research and Intelligence report (PCMRI) is a report that breaks down key info of governments, tourism authorities, infrastructure investors, private sectors, development partners and cruise lines themselves.

In addition, it provides insight into how to best take advantage of the booming industry in the region, building on the development of the Pacific Regional Cruise Development Strategy (PRCDS), which is expected to be completed in November 2015.

The report reveals that the cruise industry in the Pacific is significant in four important respects:

  1. Its scale and geographic coverage
  2. Its recent growth and its future potential
  • Its contribution to many Pacific Island economies
  1. And 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, as well as outlining its limitations of geography and market preferences that require Pacific Island countries to be realistic about plans and strategies.

“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,” SPTO’s chief executive Ilisoni Vuidreketi said.

“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.”

Welcoming the report, Cruise Liners International Association (CLIA)’s executive director for Australia 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” Linwood said.

Vuidreketi was confident that the project had amply fulfilled its three key aims.

He said 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.

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.

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