This year will be a record breaker for Aotearoa’s cruise industry, according to the sector’s peak body.
The New Zealand Cruise Association says increased port calls and strong passenger numbers indicate a bumper season likely to outstrip 2018’s stellar performance.
The nation’s ports and regions expect to welcome 1071 port calls and 370,000 cruise passengers during 2019/2020.
Information from Stats NZ shows the cruise sector spend was worth almost $570 million to the New Zealand tourism economy last season, a 28 percent increase on the previous year, with New Zealand Cruise Association CEO Kevin O’Sullivan is forecasting a further increase this time around.
“Despite a general softening across the industry, growth is still strong across the cruise sector,” says Mr O’Sullivan.
“It’s fantastic to have the data proving the strength and positive economic impact of the New Zealand cruise sector, and to see further growth ahead is reassuring.”
Accurate data is a focus for the tourism industry, with another leading industry body this week welcoming government plans to make insights on domestic tourism part of the Tourism New Zealand remit.
In a government-commissioned report released this week, recommendations included expanding Tourism New Zealand’s role to providing more visitor insights to the industry.
TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says the report “unsurprisingly finds Tourism New Zealand to be a world leader in destination marketing, which must remain its core function” but finds there are opportunities for the organisation to share its expertise.
“The report correctly identifies the fact TNZ knows more about the people who choose to visit New Zealand than any other body or organisation,” Mr Roberts said.
“There is an opportunity to use that knowledge and insight to strengthen how tourism is managed and supported across Aotearoa.”
According to Roberts, this includes providing regional insights, addressing social licence and climate issues, assisting the development of Māori tourism, supporting the role of the Department of Conservation and providing domestic visitor insights.
“Tourism New Zealand’s mandate has always specifically excluded domestic tourism – but it has a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can help us understand the motivations of domestic visitors. The immediate challenge will be the lack of data that currently exists about domestic tourism,” he said.