The city is gearing up for its biggest ever cruise season with today’s visit from Silver Muse leading the way for a record 18 vessels set to call at the Port of Townsville over the coming months.
More than 21,000 passengers and crew will disembark in Townsville this summer, directly injecting over $4.7 million into businesses across the city and surrounding regions.
Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby says the bumper season is the first sign of some big things to come for Townsville’s cruise industry.
“It is very encouraging to see our cruise bookings grow by 50 per cent from last season to this one, exceeding the strong growth rate the industry is seeing across the entire Australian market,” says Ms Crosby.
“New data shows that the cruise industry generated $5.63 billion for Australia’s economy in its first year of post-Covid revival. This is the industry’s highest ever impact, representing a 22 per cent increase from 2018-19.
“Port of Townsville has worked closely with Townsville Enterprise, Townsville City Council and tourism partners to grow Townsville’s slice of the pie since the opening of Quayside Terminal in 2014.
“Our current Channel Upgrade project will drive growth in Townsville’s cruise visitation as we prepare to welcome Large Class cruise vessels next season, with record bookings for the next three consecutive years.”
Cruise lines themselves are responsible for $1.17 billion in direct national expenditure. The visiting cruise ships are set to bring 13,224 passengers and 7,823 crew to Townsville throughout the season.
Townsville Enterprise Director Visitor Economy and Marketing Lisa Woolfe says the cruise season will be a huge win for a range of local businesses across summer.
“More than 20,000 passengers and crew members will contribute in excess of $4.7 million to the local economy,” says Ms Woolfe.
“Cruise passengers are a great injector into the visitor economy at this time of year and support a number of tour and experiences businesses right across the region, but also share this contribution with small businesses such as transport providers, arts and entertainment businesses, restaurants, bars, cafes and retailers.”
“It’s an economic impact that the whole city will benefit from and we’re very excited to invite more of it into Townsville and the surrounding regions this cruise season.
“Cruise passengers have a high propensity to return to destinations that they enjoy, so there is an immense opportunity to showcase what our region has to offer for return visitation into the future.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill says it was exciting to welcome the first cruise ship of the season to the city.
“Passengers from across the world including countries like the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden, Germany and New Zealand will be coming here to enjoy our hospitality and world-class attractions,” Cr Hill says.
“Council has been working closely with the Port of Townsville, Townsville Enterprise and other stakeholders to ensure our region gets more cruise ship visitation.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart agrees and says having more people coming to the city will benefit local business significantly.
“We want to see more people come to Townsville and experience what the capital of Northern Australia has to offer and spend money at our local businesses,” he says.
“We are also investing in the Port’s Channel Upgrade project which will allow bigger cruise ships to come into Townsville which will help bring more money into the city.”
Main image: Silverseas Cruises’ Silver Muse arrives at the Port of Townsville.
Image credits: Cameron Laird. Used with permission from Port of Townsville.
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