Industry experts believe New South Wales needs a new cruise terminal to accommodate super-sized ships and surging demand, which may bring up to $2 billion for the state’s economy this summer.
Before the pandemic, the cruise industry contributed around $3.3 billion annually to the economy through direct income from ships stocking up on items from NSW suppliers and indirect funds like hotel, restaurant, and tour expenditures by passengers and crew.
The anticipated 1.1 million cruisers that will visit Australia between October and April are expected to contribute over $2 billion to the economy, according to specialists in the field.
The announcement comes after New South Wales Premier Chriss Minns said he would relax the state’s remaining COVID restrictions on cruising.
Margy Osmond, chief executive officer of Australia’s Tourism and Transport Forum, expressed optimism about repealing the regulations and her anticipation of finally ending the pandemic.
“It’s a crucial step forward to support the tourism sector, which is still facing one of the most competitive global tourism markets ever experienced,” Osmond said.
“We’re hopeful this will encourage more cruise passengers to visit our spectacular city, perfectly timed for what’s set to be a bumper cruise season this summer.
“More visitors are essential to help further revive Sydney’s CBD, especially given international tourists have been slower to return than we would have liked.
“This is a great decision for cruise fans and thousands of Australians whose jobs rely on cruise tourism.
“This will benefit many local businesses, from restaurants and hotels to retailers, travel agents and tour operators. And the benefits will flow to suppliers, like transport workers, maritime service providers, food and beverage providers and the list.”
Sydney is home to two international cruise terminals, both in Sydney Harbour, but Osmond (and many others) feel it is time for a third.
“Now, we also need to look at ways to increase capacity for cruise ships in Sydney Harbour.
“Cruising needs certainty through facilities with room for growth beyond Circular Quay and White Bay. It’s time to revisit and explore Garden Island as a real option.”
NSW ports welcomed the news that the state government decided not to build a cruise terminal in May at Yarra Bay, to the south of the city.
Approximately 18,000 Australian employees are supported by the cruise industry. The bulk of these occupations (12,000) are located in New South Wales and consist of positions like travel agents, transport workers, farmers, performers, and tour operators.