Cruise Sector Activation to benefit tourism in NT

Published on : Monday, February 23, 2015

Northern-Territory-GovernmentThe Territory Government has released a new Cruise Sector Activation Plan as Darwin heads into its busiest cruise week on record.

“The cruise ship sector contributed more than $54 million to the NT economy last year from 38 cruise ship visits to Darwin. That’s more than triple the figure ten years ago when just 11 cruise ships visited worth $4.14 million to the economy,” Chief Minster Adam Giles said.

“We want to see this expansion continue and maximise the benefits to local tourism and business operators. That’s what this new Cruise Sector Activation Plan is all about.

“It plots the course for growing the NT cruise sector into the future, taking advantage of changes in cruise demand from Australia and overseas, particularly in Asia.”

The Cruise Sector Activation Plan 2015-2020 is now out for consultation with industry and focusses on three key areas:

Cruise Ship Attraction – bringing more cruise lines to Darwin, especially those that can establish a base here and offer cruises that begin and end in Darwin.
Infrastructure & Facilities – ensuring Darwin is more than capable of handling visits from the largest cruise ships in the world.
Experience Development – ensuring cruise ship passengers and crew have the opportunity to explore our region, engage with locals and return to Darwin for extended visits in the future.

Cruise Down Under anticipates the cruise sector in Australia will continue its past ten years of double-digit growth, with new markets like Asia opening up to cruise experiences.

“Our full service port and well-established tourism infrastructure mean Darwin is well positioned as Australia’s Northern Gateway Port to welcome this new cruise traffic,” Mr Giles said.

“I’m hugely excited about the future of this sector in the Territory and about the record cruise ship week that’s just around the corner.”

Between 2 and 6 March a record of six ships carrying up to 11,000 passengers will stop in Darwin.

“This will be a huge boost to the tourism industry with predictions visitors could pump as much as $2.5 million dollars into the local economy over this single week,” Mr Giles said.

The two biggest ships berthing during ‘Cruise Week’ are the Celebrity Soltice with up to 2850 passengers and the Queen Mary 2 with 2620 on board.

A number of special events and activities have been planned to welcome the cruise ship visitors and offer some exciting things for them to do while they’re in the Top End.

“In addition to the usual Darwin City and Litchfield tours, musical events have been planned for the Smith St Mall every day at lunchtime,” Mr Giles said

“Darwin retailers are also offering special deals throughout the week and there will be a pop-up market daily at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct. Locals are encouraged to get out and about and enjoy the festivities as well.”

Tourism NT is working closely with Tourism Top End, the City of Darwin, the Darwin and Waterfront Retailers Association and the Darwin Waterfront Corporation to coordinate the week-long festival.

The Government is seeking input from industry on the Cruise Sector Activation Plan.

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