Drop in Cruise Ships, Tourists Fail to Deter Cruise Fa­cil­i­ta­tor

“We con­tinue to bet­ter our ser­vices ev­ery year and we are hop­ing for the best in 2020 for an im­prove­ment in num­bers of cruise ves­sels and tourists com­ing to Fiji.”

Fiji Sun - - Shipping - INOKE RABONU

The coun­try’s largest cruise line fa­cil­i­ta­tor Kenua Fiji has recorded a drop in cruise ships and tourist ar­rivals in the first half of 2019. Kenua Fiji fa­cil­i­tates 90 per cent of cruise ships that come into the coun­try while the other ten per cent is shared among Wil­liams and Gosling and Swire Ship­ping com­pa­nies. Ac­cord­ing to Kenua Fiji Man­ager Leone Naivalu, the com­pany recorded a to­tal of 52, 632 vis­i­tors in­clud­ing crew mem­bers the first six months of 2019. How­ever, in 2018 they had recorded a to­tal of 74, 178

vis­i­tors and crew mem­bers from 30 cruise ships in the first six months. “For this year, the num­bers are from the 20 cruise ships that we rep­re­sent from Jan­uary to June,” Mr Naivalu said

“We had recorded a to­tal of 37,430 pas­sen­gers and 15,202 crew mem­bers in the first six months, this year, from Jan­uary to June,” he said.

“This is a very sig­nif­i­cant drop from the fig­ures that we had recorded in the same pe­riod last year.” Mr Naivalu said the drop was due to a num­ber of fac­tors which in­clude berthing book­ings and ad­verse weather con­di­tions in the coun­try.

“As al­luded ear­lier this was mainly due to change in itin­er­ary and also re­po­si­tion­ing of the big­ger cruise ships to the Asian re­gion.

“An­other con­tribut­ing fac­tor to this drop would be the sud­den ad­verse weather con­di­tions which had led to few ports of call can­cel­la­tions due to nu­mer­ous heavy swells.”

He said de­spite the drop-in the num­ber of cruise ves­sels in the first half of this year, they will con­tinue to ren­der the same ser­vices to cruise tourists in mak­ing their port ex­pe­ri­ence a mem­o­rable one. “The drop in the num­ber of cruise ves­sels this year has not stopped us from de­liv­er­ing the ser­vices that we ren­der out to our vis­i­tors,” he said. “We con­tinue to bet­ter our ser­vices ev­ery year and we are hop­ing for the best in 2020 for an im­prove­ment in num­bers of cruise ves­sels and tourists com­ing to Fiji.”

He added that they were ex­pect­ing an­other 16 cruise ships un­der their watch in the re­main­der of the year call­ing into re­spec­tive ports.

“The dif­fer­ent ports of call for our cruise ves­sels are Suva, Lau­toka, Savusavu, Dravuni and Port De­na­rau.

“Suva and Port De­na­rau are the ma­jor ports that we have recorded to be gain­ing a lot in terms of fi­nan­cial growth with re­gards to tourist spend­ings.”

MSC Mag­nifica berthed at Suva’s Kings Wharf on its maiden voy­age to Fiji on March 8, 2019. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

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