VIP famil to entice cruise operators to Australia
Senior cruise company executives arrive in Sydney this week as part of the Australian tourism industry’s continued focus on increasing the country’s share of the lucrative international cruise market.
The delegation will be welcomed to Australia by the Minister, The Hon. Martin Ferguson at a special function at the Park Hyatt, Sydney on September 23, before embarking on their famil which will include all Australian states and territories.
The VIP Cruise famil – a joint initiative between Tourism Australia, Cruise Down Under and Qantas – is targeting cruise itinerary decision-makers from the US and UK, inviting them to Australia to see first-hand the top quality port facilities, shore excursion products and pre and post touring opportunities the country has to offer.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said the VIP famil was part of a concerted effort to help secure a greater share of the international cruise market for Australian inbound tourism.
“Cruising is one of the fastest growing sectors for Australian tourism, outpacing many of our international competitor destinations,” Mr McEvoy said.
Cruise Down Under Chairman Ms Chris White said results from its latest Economic Impact Study indicated that Australia’s cruise industry now contributing over A$2 billion to the Australian economy.
She said the Australian cruise shipping industry has recorded a 30 per cent increase last year in the number of cruise ships visits, with strong growth in both international transit ships and ships that based themselves in Australia for part of the year.
?The cruise market has been experiencing strong year on year growth for more than a decade, with the 2012/13 season alone expecting 11 new ships in Australia, so the time is right to bring these key executives to showcase our amazing country,” she said.
Mr McEvoy said the purpose of the famil was to demonstrate the industry’s desire and ability to cater for a new generation of cruise ships and mix of international passengers, to the people that mattered most – the top executives who influence where to deploy their cruise ships.
“As an island destination, Australia has an enormous amount to offer cruise travellers. We are fortunate in have having access points for cruise ships right around our country, welcoming visitors into the most beautiful harbours and docks in the world,” he said.
So far, executives from eight leading UK and US cruise companies have confirmed their attendance: RCI, Royal Celebrity, Fred Olsen, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania/ Prestige and Silversea.
?The biggest consumers of cruising holidays are Americans and Europeans, so to get the chance to make our pitch to such a top level delegation representing eight of the biggest cruise operators in the US and UK is a real coup and an opportunity we intend to make the very best of,” Mr McEvoy said.
Craig Milan, President of Royal Celebrity Tours, said the familiarisation trip was invaluable to cruise companies in helping them to make informed deployment decisions when itineraries are being developed.
“Cruise Down Under deserves a lot of credit for the proactive approach they have taken to engage directly with the key deployment decision makers in our industry and ensure they receive the most up to date port-related information,” Mr Milan said.
The VIP Cruise Famil takes place between 23 ? 30 September 2012.