Queens­land tourism is full steam ahead

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY - — Jeremy Pierce

IT’S full steam ahead for the state’s cruise ship in­dus­try in a $1.1 bil­lion bo­nanza for the Queens­land econ­omy.

New data re­veals a 70 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of cruise ship vis­its to Queens­land in the past three years, with di­rect spend­ing from cruise pas­sen­gers ris­ing al­most $250 mil­lion per year in the same pe­riod.

The new fig­ures come as work con­tin­ues on the $158 mil­lion Bris­bane In­ter­na­tional Cruise Ter­mi­nal at Lug­gage Point while the State gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to pur­sue more of the world’s top cruise ship com­pa­nies to set sail for Queens­land on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

The cruise sec­tor re­mains one of the fastest-grow­ing seg­ments of the tourism in­dus­try, with new fig­ures show­ing the num­ber of ships vis­it­ing Queens­land ports has risen from 275 four years ago to 468 in the just-fin­ished 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year.

Spend­ing by cruise ship pas­sen­gers in­creased from $349 mil­lion in 2014-15 to $590 mil­lion last year.

The to­tal value of cruise ships to the Queens­land econ­omy has more than dou­bled from $402 mil­lion to more than $1.1 bil­lion.

Syd­ney still hosts more cruise ships than Bris­bane, but Queens­land re­mains streets ahead over­all with more ports in more de­sir­able lo­ca­tions.

Queens­land Tourism Min­is­ter Kate Jones said our cruise ship in­dus­try was now the envy of the coun­try, with ports along the coast from Bris­bane to the Great Bar­rier Reef.

“More cruise ships ported in Queens­land last year than any other state — we’re dom­i­nat­ing this sec­tor,” she said.

“This in­dus­try now sup­ports 4330 jobs in Queens­land and we’re work­ing hard to grow that num­ber by ne­go­ti­at­ing with cruise com­pa­nies to se­cure more book­ings at our ports.

“Cruise ship­ping is a huge growth mar­ket for tourism.”

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