Cruise tourism generates record AUS $5.63 billion for Australia

Cruise ships made a combined total of 1,354 calls at 62 Australian ports in 2022-2023

Cruise tourism generates record AUS $5.63 billion for Australia

UnSplash/Jamie Davies

Cruise ships called at 62 ports in Australia in 2022-2023, including in Sydney

By Rebecca Gibson |

Australia’s cruise industry generated a record AUS $5.63 billion (US $3.6 billion) for the economy in the 2022-2023 financial year, according to a new economic impact assessment jointly commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the Australian Cruise Association (ACA).

Cruise operations resumed in Australia in mid-2022, two years after the start of the Covid pandemic, bringing “significant economic impact” to every state and coastal territory. Statistics from The Value of Cruise Tourism economic impact assessment show that the total economic output was 22.1 per cent higher than in 2018-2019, the previous full year of cruise operations in Australia.

Direct passenger expenditure rose 10.6 per cent to AUS $1.49 billion, while crew contributed AUS $52.0 million (up 48.1 per cent), and cruise lines’ direct expenditure grew by 8.3 per cent to hit AUS $1.17 billion.

The cruise sector also supported 18,225 full-time equivalent positions nationally, a rise of 9.9 per cent from 2018-2019.

“Cruising returned to Australia much later than other parts of the world, but the ships have been resoundingly welcomed by cruise fans who have been heading back to sea in huge numbers,” said Joel Katz, managing director of CLIA Australasia. “The 2022-2023 year has brought higher levels of passenger spending, higher levels of cruise line spending, and record levels of economic output around Australia. The result is a resurgent cruise industry worth A$5.63 billion to the Australian economy.”

Cruise ships also visited more Australian destinations than ever before in 2022-2023, making a combined total of 1,354 calls at 62 Australian ports.

“Together these destinations welcomed 1,354 ship visits, which generates enormous income for businesses like tourism operators, hotels and restaurants, retailers, transport providers and port operators,” said Jill Abel, CEO of ACA. “The supply chain that supports cruising is extensive, from the travel agents who manage the passengers’ arrangements through to the farmers who provide Australian produce served onboard.”

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