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Cruise ship industry expansion good news for Australian tourism sector.



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

CRUISE SHIP INDUSTRY EXPANSION GOOD NEWS FOR AUSTRALIAN TOURISM SECTOR

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, welcomes the decision of P&O Cruises to double its fleet over the next two years and says the move demonstrates the growing strength and importance of Australia's cruise sector.

Minister Ferguson said: "The cruise shipping industry plays an important role in broadening the tourism experiences offered to Australian travellers and it is very pleasing to see it growing so significantly.

"Interest in cruising is increasing and the continued expansion in the cruise ship industry adds to the resilience and responsiveness of Australia's tourism industry. Moreover, this decision by P&O also confirms Australia's position as a world-leading destination for travellers of all ages.

"P&O is to be congratulated on its decision to add another two super-liners to its Australian operation, which is understood to be the biggest ever investment made by a cruise company in our region."

The significance of the cruise shipping industry's economic importance is rapidly increasing, with the direct expenditure from both domestic and international passengers growing by 47 per cent in the 2007-08 financial year.

Employment in this industry also grew 48 per cent during 2007-08, to 2,796 full time equivalent positions. It is also estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 Australians are employed on cruise ships; mainly in the ports where cruise ships are based such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns.

Minister Ferguson said: "This is a significant decision which will have enormous benefits for Australian tourism operators as the cruise shipping industry's capacity to bring high-yield travellers to Australia will generate many positive flow-on effects.

"This will invigorate city centres adjacent to these ports and provide a welcome boost for many businesses including cleaning, catering, transport, hotels and restaurants."

The number of Australian residents who took a cruise increased from 116,300 in 2002 to more than 250,000 in 2007. This represents an annual growth rate of 16.7 per cent and estimates predict further growth in the sector.

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744

RET Minister > The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

31 Oct 2008

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