Tuesday 1 March 2016
Figures in from Cruise Eden show that cruise ship tourism is on the rise in the Shire and is set to increase in future years.
The figures show a busy cruise season running from about November to April each year and a major market in growing visitor spending throughout the Shire.
Mayor, Michael Britten said the figures for this season show the cruise ships bringing nearly 9000 passengers to the Shire, a figure that is set to nearly double next year.
“This is an excellent return on an investment of time, money and community goodwill offered by Council and many people throughout the Shire,” he said.
“When Council secured Federal funding to extend the breakwater wharf in Eden we did so anticipating a major growth in the domestic and international cruise ship market.
“The breakwater wharf is coming further down the track, but already we can see huge interest in cruise ship operators wanting to add Eden to their itineraries.
“These latest figures demonstrate not only a large number of visitors entering the Shire through Eden, but they also show the huge potential of visitor spending distributing to many towns and villages in the Shire.
"Captains on board visiting cruise ships have said that 2000 disembarking passengers from one ship can spend up to $1 million upon arrival at a destination.
"Up to forty ships are estimated to arrive every year upon completion of the wharf, which could potentially result in an extra 80,000 visitors to the Shire, injecting the local economy with up to $40 million per annum.
"The cruise industry has indicated that for every ship arriving at the Port of Eden, about 25 percent of passengers will revisit the Shire at another time. This is an important figure because it means that visitation and spending do not end as the ship leaves the Port.
“With increased visitation comes increased demand for activities and tours, and figures show that a quarter of passengers disembarking are signing up for various tourist experiences.
“This gives local tourism operators something to really get thinking about, asking what experiences can we offer to the 18,000 visitors set to arrive through the Port of Eden next year.
"In addition, it has been indicated that a marina in Eden will boost the local economy by about $500,000 a year, which is equivalent to a small cruise ship docking at the Port.
“These latest figures from Cruise Eden are an excellent confirmation of the faith many local people and businesses have in a growing cruise ship market that is tailor made for Eden.
“The fact that 92 percent of passengers couldn’t wait to get out and explore the Shire, shows that we are a destination that people want to see and experience.
“I look forward to continual growth in this sector, and Council thanks everybody involved, from volunteers, Cruise Eden, Sapphire Coast Tourism, and members of the community. This is a fantastic result,” Cr Britten said.