Cruise trade to suffer if WA’s ports not upgraded
Despite efforts to upgrade port facilities for visiting cruise ships, a tourism expert says the string of ports along WA’s coastline could suffer a $130 million loss if the State Government does not improve berthing facilities at Exmouth port.
Cruise WA chairman Ross Dowling said the cruise ship industry identified the WA coast as a single destination and so Geraldton’s efforts would not have an impact if the problems at Exmouth and Broome were not fixed.
“Geraldton won’t have an impact with new upgrades to shore tension units, to make berthing in the port easier for cruise ships, if ports like Exmouth and Broome don’t fix their problems,” he said.
“We’ve gone straight to the State Government and said these are huge issues that needed to be addressed and Exmouth is the game changer,” he said.
“If the State Government doesn’t commit to putting in a floating berth in Exmouth before October, which is when Carnival Australia has to do its planning, then that will mean Carnival won’t base its ships here and we have estimated an immediate drop of $130 million a year.
“If the cruise ships can’t get Exmouth, they’re not going to homeport in Fremantle, which means that Albany, Esperance, Bunbury, Busselton, Geraldton, Port Hedland, Exmouth and Broome won’t benefit.”
Tourism WA said it was working to find potential solutions for Exmouth and the port of Broome’s infrastructure issues.