The report does however highlight that infrastructure constraints in Sydney threaten further growth of the industry (Image: CLIA)
The Australian cruise industry’s national economic output reached AUS$5.3 billion (US$4.1 billion) in 2016-2017, according to a new report commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia.
This represents a 15.4% increase on the AUS$14.6 billion figure for 2015-2016.
The report, Cruise Tourism’s Contribution to the Australian Economy 2016-2017, explains that the figure comprises AUS$1.5 billion of cruise line expenditure, direct passenger expenditure of AUS$1.2 billion and indirect and induced contribution of cruise tourism of AUS$2.6 billion.
“The latest Australian Cruise Industry Economic Impact Analysis reveals an industry with strong growth potential that generates significant national and regional economic activity,” said Joel Katz, managing director of CLIA Australasia.
With a record 58 cruise ships sailing local waters in 2016-2017, and more than half offering local itineraries, there was a 19% increase in cruise ship visit days to 1,401 in total.
The report does however highlight that infrastructure constraints in Sydney threaten further growth of the industry. New South Wales remains the dominant cruise state, accounting for 58% of the industry’s economic contribution, but its 6% growth last financial year means its share has dropped 10% in just two years, due to Sydney reaching capacity.
“The industry is now contributing more than AUS$5 billion to Australia’s economy but it could be much more,” said Katz. “With the nation’s cruise gateway at crisis point, the challenge is to ensure strong economic growth for years to come and the only way to make that happen is to find a solution to Sydney’s capacity constraints. Australia is one of the world’s most appealing cruise destinations for global cruise lines but Sydney is a big drawcard and if Sydney is full, this discourages more cruise ships from heading to our shores.”
The full report is available to download from the CLIA website.