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Cruise season soon to set sail

Cruise season soon to set sail

Dunedin (Friday, 28 August) - Dunedin is gearing up for the arrival of the first cruise ship in early October of what will be a busy season.

Over 60 local operators are attending a cruise pre-brief today to learn about cruise opportunities and how the industry can work together to provide an exceptional cruise visitor experience.

A total of 73 cruise ships are scheduled to visit Dunedin between 3 October and the end of the season on 11 April next year. These ships will be carrying a total of 144,000 passengers and 61,000 crew.

i-SITE Team Leader Louise Van de Vlierd says the new Octagon i-SITE will open for business on Monday, 28 September, ready for the first cruise visit.

“We are well practiced to look after cruise visitors and this cruise season is of similar size to the 2014/15 season. We know that approximately 80% to 90% of cruise passengers will disembark when they get here. A number of them will take a trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway or go on tours of the peninsula and city, and then there are the independent visitors who come in on the shuttle buses and spend time looking around the city.”

DCC Business Development Advisor (Visitor Industry) Sophie Barker says much effort has been put into planning and working with partners to raise the quality of the cruise visitor experience and the welcome to Port Chalmers.

“One of the themes in Dunedin’s Economic Development Strategy is to showcase Dunedin as a compelling destination and satisfied cruise visitors provide great word of mouth for the city. The DCC works hard with our partners on destination management to ensure we deliver the best visitor experience.”

Ms Barker says a Cruise Action Group, with representatives from the DCC, Port Otago, Dunedin Host, the University of Otago and the Otago Chamber of Commerce meets regularly. Last year, extensive effort was put into updating the Cruise Action Plan 2015-2018 to ensure the quality of the cruise visitor experience and the welcome to Dunedin.

“Cruise is the tip of the iceberg of the visitor industry, about 8% of our total of approximately two million visitors annually. They are a very visible part of the visitor market. In reality about two ships worth of other visitors (5500) are in town each day and we work hard to make sure the visitor experience for everyone is excellent, with cruise leading the way to grow visitor satisfaction,” says Ms Barker.

The Dunedin cruise market has grown substantially over the past five years and is predicted to be worth about $40 million this season to the city.

ENDS

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