Are we miss­ing the boat on tourism?

Read­ers de­bate fu­ture ben­e­fit of cruise lines

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS -

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.

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