Australians’ love of cruising shows no signs of abating with more cruise ships visiting Australia than ever before, passenger expenditure up and cruise lines delivering $1.9 billion in direct expenditure in 2014/15.
According to the latest Cruise Down Under annual Economic Impact Report, cruise ships visiting Australia delivered an estimated total economic output of $3.3 billion in the 2014/15 period, a 5.3% increase on 2013/14. The economic impact of cruise ship visits to Australia is the aggregation of all international passenger and crew expenditure and cruise ship expenditure at each port visited by a cruise ship.
CDU is the peak cruise body in Australia and has been compiling the Economic Impact Assessment for 11 years to better understand the size, growth and economic significance of the industry to the Australian economy to assist with future planning and strategy.
A total of 46 cruise ships visited Australia in 2014/15 with a total of 31 ports visited across Australia.
There were 876 port visits, up from 773 in 2013/14 and 2.4 million passenger days in port, up from 1.9 million passenger days.
Passengers and crew continue to spend, with passenger spend sitting at $903 million (up from $678 million) and crew spend at $87 million (up from $71 million in the previous period).
Passenger and crew capacity on cruise ships has also shown an increase with 68,134 passenger capacity in 2014/15, up from 63,263, and crew capacity up from 28,061 to 29,582.
The only real change was in total port-related expenditure due to falls in bunker or fuel costs over the year, from an estimated $938 million down to $792 million. However this was good news for the cruise lines.
All indicators point to a growth curve going forward, with eight new ships to visit Australian ports in the coming year including Holland America’s Noordam, Princess Cruises’ Golden Princess, RCI’s Explorer of the Seas, P&O’s Pacific Eden and Pacific Aria, Costa’s Costa Luminosa, Azamara’s Azamara Quest and Ponant’s Le Soleal.
P&O Cruises will bring five of their ships into Sydney on 25 November for a Five Ship Spectacle and RCI’s Ovation of the Seas’ – the largest ship to ever cruise Australian waters - will kick off a maiden season for Australia and New Zealand in the 2016/17 season.
Jill Abel, Chief Executive Officer of CDU said: “The figures show that Australian cruising is continuing to be a growth industry, with strong economic benefits for all involved and positive signs that Australian ports still feature highly on cruise line itineraries.”
The 2014/15 study was undertaken by AEC Group for CDU.