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Ship's Arrival Signals Start Of Record Cruise Season

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

16 October 2008 - The first of 79 passenger cruise ship arrivals to Canterbury over the coming months is scheduled for Lyttelton next week.

The Dawn Princess will be carrying around 2000 passengers and 800 crew and its arrival in port, timed for 7am on Tuesday October 21, signals the start of the busiest cruise season on record. In all 79 arrivals with around 150,000 passengers and crew will dock at Canterbury ports this cruise season; 60 arrivals at Lyttelton, 12 at Akaroa, six at Kaikoura and one at Timaru.

Experts predict the passengers aboard those luxury ships will pump more than $22.7 million into the local economy and sustain the employment equivalent of 335 workers in the Canterbury region for a year.

Those figures were released by Cruise New Zealand and follow a comprehensive analysis of the financial benefits the cruise industry brought to the country last season. That analysis shows the cruise industry generated $412 million in direct spend during the during the 2007/08 season.

In Canterbury, where 40 cruise ships visited last season, $15.6 million was added into the economy and the equivalent of 257 people kept in full-time work.

"As the number of cruise ships visiting our region increases and the size of the ships increases we can expect to see the economic impact on our region rising significantly,'' says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Christine Prince.

She is excited by the growth in the cruise industry and by the steps the region is taking to make it a more attractive port of call for visiting cruise ships.

"The potential for growth is enormous. In the past 10 years the number of ships visiting New Zealand has grown six-fold and while that growth will inevitably plateau already we've got 51 ships pre-booked for the 2009/2010 season.

"The challenge for us now is to ensure our port facilities can cope with the sheer numbers of passengers embarking and disembarking and that we can provide a quality experience for our visitors that leaves them wanting to come back for more,'' Ms Prince says.

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