Are we missing the boat on tourism?
Readers debate future benefit of cruise lines
WEDNESDAY’S Coffs Coast
Advocate front page floating the need for voters to suggest major projects for the future of the Coffs Coast has added a weight of support behind the cruise ship terminal or stopover debate.
Previously, the suggestion has been investigated by Regional Development Australia as a plausible way of boosting tourism to the region, while granting cruise lines a halfway stopping point between Sydney and Brisbane.
Widely supported by many readers, the suggestion has also attracted its fair share of naysayers and while it was widely debated the harbour just isn’t deep enough anymore to support big ships, suggestions have been floated over the possibility of ships anchoring offshore and tenders then bringing passengers into the harbour.
Other smaller towns the world over are benefiting daily from cruise ship stopovers through job creation and employment, with passengers spending day trips onshore taking in cultural events and shopping at retail outlets.
The Coffs Coast only has to look to a recent precedent in which the MS Caledonian Sky anchored off South West Rocks last month.
The stopover allowed mostly international passengers to tour Trial Bay Gaol.
About 90 passengers on board the luxury cruise ship embarked on the stopover.
The 90.6m-long Italianbuilt MS Caledonian Sky is one of the three flagships vessels of London-based cruise company Noble Caledonia.
The ship made 19 stops on its Australian voyage, including calls into Newcastle, Batemans Bay and Eden.
Cruises continues to be the fastest growing tourism sector in Australia, bringing in almost $5 billion every year.
DAY OUT: A tender vessel returns passengers to a docked cruise ship.