Published On: Wed, Sep 3rd, 2014

Cruise Down Under Conference docks in Perth

632977-976abb9a-bdf5-11e3-b362-fbc371d40a1dMore than 120 national and international delegates are in Perth this week for the Cruise Down Under Conference 2014.

Tourism Western Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Buckland said Western Australia’s growing popularity as a cruising destination meant it was timely for the State to host this important national conference.

“The Western Australian cruise shipping industry recorded 68 cruise ship visits in 2013-14 – a 20.3 per cent increase on the previous year,” Ms Buckland said.

“Although Fremantle Port welcomed the majority of these arrivals, cruise ships also visited Broome, Port Hedland, Exmouth, Geraldton, Bunbury, Albany and Esperance.

“These visits generated $116.5 million in passenger spend and our goal as part of the Western Australian Cruise Shipping Strategic Plan 2012-2020 is to boost the value of the cruise sector to $274 million by 2020.
“Achieving this objective will directly support the State Government’s target of increasing the overall value of its tourism industry to $12 billion by 2020.”

Ms Buckland said the Cruise Down Under Conference 2014, held from September 3 to 5, would provide valuable opportunities for local tourism suppliers to establish networks with key cruise operators and promote WA as an attractive cruise destination.
“Cruise Down Under will provide visiting inbound tour operators, as well as senior cruise line executives, with an opportunity to experience WA and gain a first-hand understanding of this continuously expanding and evolving market.”

Other conference delegates include port authorities, State Tourism Organisations and portside ground handlers.
WA previously hosted the conference in Fremantle in 2005, and this year’s three-day event – which is titled ‘Beyond gateway ports – Navigating new destinations’ – will feature keynote speakers from international cruise liners Princess Cruises and Carnival UK.