Cruising the friend of New Zealand tourism
OCTOBER 2, 2012
Cruising the friend of New Zealand tourism in delivering economic opportunity
Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia which operates a combined fleet of cruise ships including P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line, told a conference in Wellington today that cruising was the friend of New Zealand tourism.
Speaking at the Tourism Industry Association Summit, Ms Sherry praised Auckland authorities for their decision to redevelop Queens Wharf and its historic Shed 10 as a multi-purpose cruise terminal to support further cruise industry growth and the business opportunities it delivers.
Ms Sherry also applauded the upgrade of passenger amenities at the Wellington cruise facility and spoke of a ‘grassroots movement’ in which regional centres are showing the way in embracing the economic benefits of cruising.
“Cruising is a rolled gold opportunity for New Zealand and the upgrading of infrastructure is in keeping with its status as a cruising hub and a huge drawcard for locally based and international ships,” Ms Sherry said.
“In the year to the end of April, 174,000 travellers arrived in New Zealand by ship -- the equivalent of 330 full A380 planes or almost one a day. It doesn’t make sense to walk away from the opportunities that cruising presents simply because growth in other parts of the tourism sector is uneven.
“The challenge is to work out how the energy of cruising can be harnessed to spread its benefits as widely as possible across the whole tourism sector. It’s all about providing the best end-to-end customer experience for cruise passengers who have made the choice to see New Zealand by ship.”
Ms Sherry spoke at the TIA forum ahead of another record breaking New Zealand cruise season in which Carnival ships will make 430 calls at local ports including visits by Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Mary 2 would be making an historic circumnavigation of New Zealand following the runaway success of this year’s circumnavigation of Australia. Carnival Spirit, the seventh ship in Carnival Australia’s local fleet, would also make her debut in New Zealand while cruising full time from Sydney.
Ms Sherry said the positive way in which communities such as Dunedin, Picton, Akaroa, Napier and Bay of Islands had embraced cruising added to the customer experience of cruise passengers. These initiatives included:
Picton’s famous flower ladies who present corsages of local flowers to departing passengers
An ambassador program in the Bay of Islands and a free bus shuttle
Akaroa becoming the gateway to Canterbury after the Christchurch earthquake disaster
Community members in Napier who dress in period outfits to reflect the city’s famous art deco style
Dunedin’s accreditation programme to ensure a high level of service for cruise passengers
“All of these activities add a fantastic dimension to the customer experience so that cruise passengers will want to return to spend more time in New Zealand adding to cruising’s multiplier effect of business opportunity,” Ms Sherry said.