The big ships are com­ing...

Cruise Weekly - - News -

SU­SAN Bon­ner, re­gional vice pres­i­dent of Royal Caribbean Cruises, has is­sued a plea for the Aus­tralian cruise sec­tor to pre­pare for what she de­scribed as “the big ship chal­lenge,” in or­der to al­low ever-larger ves­sels to home­port lo­cally in the fu­ture.

Bon­ner was one of the key­note speak­ers at this week’s Aus­tralian Cruise As­so­ci­a­tion (ACA) con­fer­ence in Broome, and told del­e­gates this morn­ing that other com­pet­ing des­ti­na­tions are grow­ing their in­fra­struc­ture to man­age dis­rup­tion brought by ships like the Oa­sis-class ves­sels which have an es­ti­mated 5,000 lower berths.

She said the in­dus­try needed to work col­lab­o­ra­tively, think­ing about how des­ti­na­tions could man­age the in­flux of large num­bers of cruise guests and main­tain pas­sen­ger sat­is­fac­tion.

Bon­ner noted that de­ploy­ment de­ci­sions were made 3-4 years in ad­vance, and urged the in­dus­try to en­sure that Aus­trala­sia did not miss out on the huge ben­e­fits the large ships could bring, hint­ing that the lo­cal mar­ket was def­i­nitely on the radar for ves­sels like Sym­phony of the Seas.

Car­ni­val Aus­tralia pres­i­dent and CLIA chair­man Sture Myrmell also spoke in Broome to­day, not­ing the mas­sive op­por­tu­nity of cruise - not only for do­mes­tic tourism but also to at­tract more vis­i­tors from over­seas.

He high­lighted the sus­tain­abil­ity of cruis­ing, which de­spite its re­cent rapid growth has sig­nif­i­cant room to grow and is still much smaller glob­ally than some in­di­vid­ual des­ti­na­tions such as Or­lando, Paris or New York.

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