The economic impact of cruise shipping in Australia for 2011-12 was released at the Cruise Down Under (CDU) Conference in Hobart yesterday. The study shows the cruise industry continues to out-perform other tourism sectors with growth increasing by 30% over the previous year. It also reveals that cruise, both international and domestic has become a $2 billion industry.

Chairman of Cruise Down Under, Chris White, said “the findings of the 2011-12 report represent another year of strong growth for the industry and continues to exceed expectations. It demonstrates the continued positive growth trend for the cruise industry, despite the ongoing global economic challenges.”

“The study revealed total expenditure by the international cruise shipping industry in Australia in 2011-12 was estimated at $1.77 billion compared to $1.1 billion in 2010-11,” Ms White said.

“In addition to the international expenditure, the study considered the effects of domestic spending. It identified that when domestic passenger spending is added back into the economic effects, the total expenditure grows to $2.4 billion.”

“Direct expenditure rose by 48% taking the value to $1.39 billion compared with $941 million in 2010-11. This was mainly attributed to a higher number of base port visits which resulted in higher passenger and crew expenditure as well as significantly higher port related expenditure.”

“The CDU study has been released every year since 2005 and now provides us with eight years of robust analysis of the contributions to the Australian economy provided by this continually growing industry,” Ms White said.

The strong growth is primarily attributed to the growth in port visits recorded by capital cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Fremantle.

Other growth trends for 2011-12 include -

• An increase in cruise ship visits to Australian ports from 573 to 736;

• An increase in total passenger expenditure from $303 million to $443 million;

• An increase in total crew expenditure from $43 million to $60 million; and

• An increase in total port-related expenditure from $440 million to $733 million