Victoria Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher
Royal Visit To Melbourne Makes A Splash As Cruise Ship Numbers Set To Double
Victor P Taffa
The number of cruise lines to base their ships in Melbourne is set to double in the next cruise ship season, Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher announced today as she welcomed the arrival of the largest ever cruise ship to visit Melbourne.
“I am delighted to be able to welcome the Queen Mary II on her maiden voyage to Melbourne with her 2,500 passengers and 1,200 crew.” Ms. Asher said.
“The arrival of the Queen Mary II comes as we experience a bumper cruise ship season for Victoria, with 58 ships visiting Victorian ports including two to Geelong. There are already 60 ships booked to visit during the next season in 2012-13.” Ms. Asher said.
“Importantly, the number of homeport ships in Melbourne is set to increase from eight to 15 which will deliver a significant economic impact for the state, because of the food, fuel and other provisions that are taken on board when based in a port.”
“The value of homeport visits is significantly higher than the estimated $1 Million each visiting cruise ship contributes to Melbourne’s economy.”
Ms. Asher said the Victorian Coalition Government, through Tourism Victoria and the Port of Melbourne Corporation, worked with the peak-industry body Cruise Down Under to attract ships to Victoria.
“The Coalition Government is committed to maintaining the momentum of the industry’s growth and will work with the sector to ensure we remain globally competitive.” Ms. Asher said.
Minister for Ports Denis Napthine welcomed the Queen Mary II to Victoria and praised the Port of Melbourne Corporation for their efforts in accommodating the world’s largest cruise liner.
“Every year the Port of Melbourne Corporation not only ensures Victoria’s freight and logistics industry continues to underpin the state economy, it also provides our tourism sector with the valuable boost cruise shipping offers.” Dr. Napthine said.
“Coordinating a visit for a vessel such as the Queen Mary II is a complex task, but a task that generates considerable opportunities for Victoria and I would like to recognise the efforts of the Port of Melbourne Corporation for facilitating this momentous event.”
The CEO of Carnival Australia Ann Sherry AO, who joined Minister Asher and Minister Napthine in welcoming the Queen Mary II, said the domestic cruise shipping industry continued to be a tourism success story due to its robust business model which was able to be responsive to market challenges and flexible to cater for all levels of affordability.
“The cruise industry is the standout success of the Australian tourism sector and we are delighted Melbourne is benefitting from its extraordinary growth.” Ms. Sherry said.
“Around half a million Australians took a cruise holiday last year, and with a million passengers expected to be cruising annually by 2020, it’s critical that industry and government continue to work together to ensure passengers and the Victorian economy enjoys this success.”
The Queen Mary II is visiting Melbourne as part of the liner’s 30-day Royal Circumnavigation of Australia and will depart at 6 pm this evening to sail to Sydney.