Costa and Cunard in Sydney Harbour (photo: Clyde Dickens)The government in Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) has set the target of doubling overnight visitor spend by 2020.

“This includes the creation of a 10-year Cruise Development Plan aimed at ensuring that the state’s cruise ship capability is enhanced to meet future demand and capitalize on opportunities to grow overnight visitor expenditure pre- and post-cruise stays,” said Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase.

The new 10-year cruise plan put forth includes a $110 million regional tourism infrastructure fund, which may be key to expanding Sydney and helping it handle its ship traffic.

 Talking to Cruise Industry News in August, Chipchase said NSW’s trio of ports (Sydney, Eden and Newcastle – see separate article) all offer different features.

“They complement each other and appeal to different segments of the cruise market,” she added.

"Destination NSW works with cruise lines to help visitors maximize their time in port, providing ideas for onshore itineraries which include the many fantastic tours in and around Sydney and regional NSW, such as a winery tour in the Hunter Valley or an Eden whale watching adventure,” noted Chipchase.

Australia’s own version of the Jones Act could be restricting growth, and everything is on the table as a proactive government keen on tourism is reviewing the current Coastal Shipping Act.

“They are considering a range of approaches to regulating coastal shipping in Australia,” said Chipchase.

Destination NSW works closely with cruise operators and airlines to heavily promote pre- and post-cruise stays in NSW, Chipchase noted.

“We also support Sydney’s meet and greet service which focuses on the cruise ships,” she said.

Providing a range of features to cruise passengers, Chipchase said NSW’s three ports range from beaches to the Australian Outback.

Among the popular shore excursions in Sydney are a city tour, a backstage walk-through at the Opera House, Bridgeclimb Sydney, an Aboriginal Heritage Walk, a private tour of the city’s premier food and wine destinations, and finally a Breakfast with Koalas excursion hosted by the city’s zoo.