Cruisey Port

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

PORT Dou­glas has proved to be one of the favourite des­ti­na­tions for cruise ship pas­sen­gers in Aus­tralia.

The re­sult comes in the wake of the re­lease of the Tourism Pearls - Cruise Ship Wel­come Au­dit Re­port April 2012 which looked at all of Queens­land’s eight ports and how they in­ter­acted with cruise ship pas­sen­gers.

The re­port was based on a re­cent cruise liner visit and the re­sponses of 2000 pas­sen­gers.

“The far north re­gion re­ceived such great feed­back from the re­port, Port Dou­glas Meri­dien Marina in par­tic­u­lar,’’ Julie O’Brien from Tourism Queens­land said.

“Port Dou­glas is in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned and there is al­ways talk of how Port Dou­glas wel­comes cruise ship pas­sen­gers.

“It is a post­card des­ti­na­tion of what pas­sen­gers want; palm trees, smil­ing and happy peo­ple; the clas­sic love boat ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Tourism Port Dou­glas Dain­tree ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Doug Ryan said the re­sult of the au­dit was a great out­come for the port.

“When you have 2000 pas- sen­gers dis­em­bark­ing and vis­it­ing for such a short time, there is only a lim­ited win­dow of op­por­tu­nity to make their stay mem­o­rable.”

Mr Ryan said com­ments such as “best port so far”, “feels like New Orleans meets trop­i­cal North Queens­land, great at­mos­phere” and “best of the lot along the Queens­land coast due to tours, avail­abil­ity, and at­mos­phere/band on ar­rival”, paid homage to the vol­un­teers that gave up their time to greet pas­sen­gers as well as the busi­nesses and op­er­a­tors in Port Dou­glas and Dain­tree who went out of their way to make vis­i­tors feel wel­come.

“It is the lit­tle things that count, a happy greet­ing, the close­ness of the port to the town as well as hav­ing all avail­able in­for­ma­tion on hand such as tours, maps and visi­tor in­for­ma­tion guides, that go a long way to en­hanc­ing the visi­tor ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

With 100 per cent of re­spon­dents to the sur­vey rat­ing the “wel­come/sense of ar­rival “as very high, pas­sen­gers were ex­tremely pleased with what Port Dou­glas had to of­fer.

With a four piece jazz band play­ing when pas­sen­gers em­barked and a range of vol- un­teers and op­er­a­tors all pro­vid­ing a wel­come and of­fer­ing ad­vice and tour op­tions.

One pas­sen­ger com­ment read “Feels like New Orleans meets trop­i­cal North Queens­land, it has a great at­mos­phere.”

The only con­cern raised was the con­di­tion of the bath­rooms, need­ing re­pairs and clean­ing.

Peter Jones from Meri­dien Marina said those is­sues had since been reme­died and there should be no more prob­lems.

“Last week­end’s Cruise Ship was a suc­cess for town, it was a very busy day and pas­sen­gers were happy,” he said.

Mr Ryan said it was im­por­tant not to un­der­es­ti­mate the im­por­tance of the cruise mar­ket to the Port Dou­glas and Dain­tree re­gion. In 2009/10 Port Dou­glas had 19 visit days with more than 34,535 pas­sen­gers and 7258 crew.

The di­rect ex­pen­di­ture of these pas­sen­gers was $2.9 mil­lion with $500,000 spent by crew.

This com­bined with an op­er­a­tor spend of $1.8m, to­tals $5.1 mil­lion of money put back into the re­gion.

The next cruise ship sched­uled for Port Dou­glas is the Pa­cific Dawn on Au­gust 15.

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