TAA NSW CEO Michael Johnson has warned cruise industry growth could flatten out unless more is done to develop berthing facilities in Sydney.
Johnson and general managers from many of Sydney’s leading accommodation hotels were recently given an industry briefing by representatives from the $4.8 billion a year cruising industry.
Johnson said there were some impressive statistics on cruising numbers for 2018/19 with nearly one in every 17 Aussies, or 5.8 per cent of the population, taking a cruise.
He said NSW represented more than half the Australian ocean cruise market and hotels were huge beneficiaries in pre and post accommodation, but things were changing.
“Whilst the industry has had substantial growth and success over the last 10 years it is now starting to flatten out due to our ports being fully occupied throughout the summer season with no real solution in sight,” Johnson said.
“The development of new berthing facilities in Sydney remains the most urgent infrastructure priority for the cruise sector and it is crucial for our hotels as well. We look forward to further announcements on the NSW Government’s Cruise Development Plan.”
Hotel executives were briefed at the Langham Hotel by the President of Carnival Australia and P&O Australia and Chair of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, Sture Myrmell.
They were told cruise ships were docked in Sydney for 357 days of 2018, providing 1.37 million passenger visitor days and 147,000 crew visit days, with a combined spend of more than $1.2billion on food, drinks, retail and accommodation.
Australia has continued its long run of cruising growth with a total of 1.35 million Australians taking an ocean cruise during 2018, but growth slowed to just 0.9 per cent year-on-year.
Cruising in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific grew by just 0.1 per cent from 2017, but there was a 3.4 per cent increase in the number of Australians taking fly-cruise options overseas.
NSW still represented 53 per cent of the Australian ocean cruise market but its share fell as popularity grew in other states. Despite the lower growth, Australia has the highest market penetration rate of the world’s major established cruise markets.