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Marlborough tops growth in spend by cruise visitors

International visitors arriving into Marlborough by cruise ship spent $18 million in Marlborough during the 2017/18 cruise season, up 80% on the previous year. Marlborough’s growth was one of the highest in the country, four times that of the national average.

112,191 passengers and crew arrived on board 41 cruise ships that berthed in Picton during the 2017/18 season.

Nationally cruise ship expenditure was $434 million during 2017/18, up 18% on the previous season. This total includes spend associated with the actual cruise ships and spend by passengers and crew while ashore. 44 percent of all cruise ship passengers were Australian citizens, 20 percent were United States citizens, and 13 percent New Zealand citizens. The remaining passengers were citizens of the United Kingdom (8 percent), Canada (4 percent), or other countries (11 percent). New Zealanders are included in the passenger and crew movement statistics but are not accounted for in expenditure statistics.

Statistics New Zealand released the Cruise Ship Traveller and Expenditure statistics: Year ended June 2018 data last week ahead of the annual New Zealand Cruise Association Conference being hosted in Marlborough 23-24 August 2018.

There are 175 domestic and international delegates registered to attend the conference. The delegates include international cruise line representatives from Carnival Australia, Princess Cruises, Silverseas, Royal Caribbean Cruises along with representatives from the Pitcairn Islands, Samoa and Tonga. They will be joined by representatives from most New Zealand port regions, Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand, DOC, Tourism Industry Aotearoa, cruise ground handlers and experience and transport providers. There will also be a delegation of international and New Zealand cruise industry media attending the conference. The conference programme includes a Port Marlborough hosted tour of the Port in Picton and welcome function at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre followed by a full day conference at the Marlborough Convention Centre.

Business Events Marlborough, a business unit of Destination Marlborough, teamed up with Port Marlborough to lead the region’s successful bid to host the 2018 conference in Marlborough. Destination Marlborough General Manager Jacqui Lloyd, who has recently been appointed to the Board of Cruise New Zealand Association said hosting the conference in Marlborough gave the region the opportunity to demonstrate why it is a strong performer as a cruise destination “We deliberately set out to influence the timing of the conference for the end of the week so that we could encourage delegates to stay on for the weekend to see for themselves why Marlborough is a brilliant cruise destination”.

Port Marlborough Chief Executive Rhys Welbourn said that Marlborough hosting the NZ Cruise Association annual conference is a huge coup. “We at the Port are extremely proud to be a part of it. Port Marlborough has invested heavily in cruise infrastructure over the last few years, including facilities which allow us to accommodate the largest cruise vessels in the world. We’d love to see vessel visits continue to increase as this is a good news story for the region as a whole.

43 cruise ships are scheduled to berth in Picton during the 2018/19 season, the first ship of the season, the Radiance of the Seas is scheduled to arrive on 3 October 2018.

Destination Marlborough is a not-for-profit Trust established by Marlborough District Council to market Marlborough as a visitor destination. The organisation also operates the Picton, Blenheim and Havelock i-SITE Visitor Information Centres and Business Events Marlborough on behalf of the region.

ENDS

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