Broome hosted the na­tion’s largest an­nual cruise ship con­fer­ence last week, bring­ing to­gether the world’s big­gest play­ers in the in­dus­try.

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Jakeb Wad­dell

Broome was hailed as a vi­tal des­ti­na­tion for the fu­ture of WA’s cruise in­dus­try at a high-end meet­ing last week.

The Aus­tralian Cruise As­so­ci­a­tion hosted its three-day an­nual con­fer­ence in the Kim­ber­ley town from last Wed­nes­day, bring­ing to­gether 120 lead­ing cruise line play­ers in the world to net­work and de­velop their un­der­stand­ing of the in­dus­try.

Aside from key­note pre­sen­ta­tions and func­tions, del­e­gates were given the full Broome ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing a camel ride, Wil­lie Creek Pearl Farm tour, Broome Port visit and Nar­li­jia Her­itage and Cul­tural tour.

ACA chief ex­ec­u­tive Jill Abel said it was fan­tas­tic ex­po­sure for a des­ti­na­tion that was “crit­i­cal” to cruis­ing in WA.

“This is an in­dus­try that has grown dra­mat­i­cally in the last 10 years and there will con­tinue to be growth,” she said.

“Broome will def­i­nitely play a role in the grow­ing in­dus­try, es­pe­cially with the in­fra­struc­ture projects go­ing into place.

“Our con­fer­ence moves around the coun­try each year and we have been fo­cused on tak­ing it to re­gional des­ti­na­tions and we did have con­sid­er­a­tions about what our num­bers would be like bring­ing it to Broome, but it has been an out­stand­ing suc­cess.

“We were only 10 del­e­gates off our record-break­ing num­ber so peo­ple re­ally em­braced it, I think they recog­nised the im­por­tance of the re­gional des­ti­na­tion.”

Tourism Min­is­ter Paul Pa­palia said the con­fer­ence had the po­ten­tial to be a game changer for the tourist town.

“We have got some se­ri­ous play­ers in the cruise in­dus­try here who are, in many cases, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing not only Broome for the first time, but West­ern Aus­tralia.

“The peo­ple who get to de­cide if their cruise ships come here and how fre­quently have not even been here be­fore, so the con­fer­ence is a won­der­ful thing.”

Ms Abel said the town had been very wel­com­ing, which high­lighted the em­pha­sis they place on cruise vis­its.

“Broome has been fab­u­lous and the peo­ple I have worked with could not have been more ac­com­mo­dat­ing and en­thu­si­as­tic,” she said.

“I think that we need to talk and work with lo­cal op­er­a­tors to en­sure they are de­liv­er­ing prod­uct that suits the dif­fer­ent types of cruise ships, the dif­fer­ent types of pas­sen­gers and show­cases the story of Broome that is true to its com­mu­nity.”

Speak­ers at the con­fer­ence in­cluded Car­ni­val Aus­tralia pres­i­dent Sture Myrmell, Se­abourn Cruise Line de­ploy­ment di­rec­tor Tim­o­thy Lit­t­ley, Royal Car­ribean Cruises Aus­tralia vice-pres­i­dent Su­san Bon­ner, Ports Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Gal­lacher and P&O Cruises Aus­tralia di­rec­tor Mike Drake.

About 120 del­e­gates at­tended the Aus­tralian Cruise As­so­ci­a­tion con­fer­ence in Broome. INSET: Se­abourn Cruise Line de­ploy­ment di­rec­tor Tim­o­thy Lit­t­ley speak­ing at the con­fer­ence.

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