Cruise shipping shines a light on Queensland’s economy

17 Sep 2012 4:17 PMJann Stuckey

Friday, September 14, 2012

A recent study of Australia’s cruise ship industry has revealed record numbers of tourists coming onboard, with the sector contributing $588.8 million to Queensland’s economy.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey welcomed the findings from Cruise Down Under’s report, 2011-12 Economic Impact Assessment of the Cruise Shipping Industry for Australia.

Ms Stuckey said this year’s report was compiled using results from cruise-passenger research, jointly-sponsored by her department, Tourism Queensland, and Cruise Down Under.

“Queensland had 239 cruise ship visits in 2011-12, 46 more than the previous year. This is a great outcome which reinforces our growing reputation as a cruise destination,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Last year, an extra 113,390 passengers visited Queensland ports. This represents an increase of 34.5 per cent and boosts our total passenger numbers to 442,253.

“Brisbane’s economy received a $249.4 million injection thanks to visiting cruise ships, while regional Queensland also reaped the rewards.

“Far North Queensland, including Cairns, Cooktown, Port Douglas and Thursday Island, benefitted from $15.9 million, the Mackay Whitsundays region received a boost of $12.3 million, while the industry contributed $1.3 million to Townsville.

“The sector is also an important employment creator, with the overall number of Queensland jobs supported by cruising growing from 1,295 to 2,117 in one year.”

Ms Stuckey said apart from the economic contribution, the industry also generated many flow-on benefits, including the development of new land-based tourism experiences, increasing new and repeat tourist visits and improving economic and social benefits to local communities.

“The Newman Government recognises tourism as one of the four pillars of the State’s economy and is committed to growing Queensland’s tourism industry,” she said.

“That’s why in this year’s State Budget we allocated $20 million to implement the Tourism Investment Strategy focussing on destination marketing in 2012-13. We have also more than doubled the funding available for regional tourism organisations to $7 million.

“With policies that encourage investment, Queensland can increase its share of this growing cruise market and the associated economic benefits to Queensland.

“Growth prospects for the industry remain very positive with an additional 95 cruise ship visits expected to visit Australia next year. Brisbane is expected to receive an additional 30 visits during the 2012-13 cruise season.”

An executive summary of the report is available at www.cruisedownunder.com

[ENDS] 13 September 2012