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Christmas comes early for cruise ship passengers making first ever visit to Christmas Island

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23 December 2009

Minister for Home Affairs

Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Minister for Tourism

Hon Martin Ferguson MP

Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, and Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson, today welcomed the arrival

of the Pacific Sun Cruise Ship at Christmas Island, the first visit to the Island by a cruise ship.

“This is an historic moment,” Mr O’Connor said. “Passengers will be able to explore this unique natural paradise and

experience the cultural diversity of this remote island.”

According to Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson, the Australian Government recognizes the enormous economic

contribution tourism makes throughout regional and remote Australia. “Which is why we have upgraded the Island’s

mooring system and landing facilities to accommodate cruise ships,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Cruising is a growth industry both in Australia and globally.

“It has continued to grow strongly throughout the global recession and the Government strongly supports this

important industry’s expansion in Australia,” Ferguson added.

Analysis of the cruise sector by Access Economics has found cruising grew by an astonishing 54 per cent in 2007-

08, contributing $1.2 billion to the national economy.

Over the next 10 years or so, Australia’s largest operator Carnival Australia predicts this contribution to grow to $3

billion by 2020 and passenger numbers to hit the one million.

“This $3.5m project to improve port facilities will help Christmas Island to develop into a world class destination for

cruise ships,” the Minister for Home Affairs said.

Further visits are scheduled by ships in 2010 and over the following two years.

Mr O’Connor thanked the community for meeting the challenges and opportunities this visit presents.

“Tours, market stalls, an historical exhibition, as well as the usual friendly Island welcome, were in place for Pacific

Sun visitors,” Mr O’Connor said.

“This is an exciting day for Christmas Island as a new cruise ship destination and shows the benefits of government

and industry working together to develop new tourism and economic opportunities.”

The ship will continue on its voyage later this afternoon.


Christmas Island was named on Christmas Day 1643 by Captain William Mynors of the East India Company.


Home Affairs: Brian Humphreys 0438 595 567

Tourism: Michael Bradley 0420 371 744