Cruise ships estimated to bring $6m this season
30 November 2009
Cruise ship visits estimated to bring $6 million this season
Northland is expected to host a record 35,000 cruise ship passengers this season, bringing an estimated $6 million into the region.
Destination Northland general manager Brian Roberts said a total of 30 cruise ship visits to the Bay of Islands are scheduled between November and March. In line with international trends, the ships are generally larger, resulting in a 40 percent increase in passenger numbers compared with last year and making it Northland’s biggest season ever in terms of passengers.
The growth in passenger numbers has been consistent, with Northland also experiencing a 44 percent increase the previous year.
The largest ship in the flotilla coming to Northland this season will be the 345-metre Queen Mary 2 – billed by owner Cunard Line as the grandest liner ever built – which is arriving in early March with 2600 passengers.
Mr Roberts said the majority of the cruise ships arrived and left within a single day, with passengers enjoying a variety of excursions, covering culture and heritage, food and wine and trips throughout the wider Bay of Islands area. The average daily spend ranges upwards from $150 per passenger, with other associated expenditure – including the contribution from an estimated 11,000 crew members – adding to the economic benefit.
Australians will make up just over half of the passengers this year and Mr Roberts said for some, a taste of New Zealand will be enough to bring them back in future.
A Tourism New Zealand study released last year found that nearly 70 per cent of cruise ship passengers said they were likely to return although not necessarily on a cruise. Almost all visitors (96 per cent) said they were likely to recommend New Zealand as a cruise destination.
• Tourism is the second-biggest contributor to the Northland economy, bringing in more than $650 million each year and employing one in nine Northlanders.