Local tourism businesses will hear from national and local cruise industry experts about how to maximise opportunities generated by cruise ship visits when they attend the 2012 Hunter Cruise Forum at the Fort Scratchley Function Centre tomorrow (Tuesday, October 9) in Newcastle, Australia.

The one-day forum, organised by Cruise Hunter with the support of local tourism stakeholders, has attracted a wide variety of representative from tourism-related industries.

CEO of Newcastle Port Corporation, Gary Webb, said Cruise Hunter is delivering opportunity to local businesses by attracting representatives from land tour operator, Abercrombie & Kent, cruise ship operator, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and the peak national cruise body, Cruise Down Under, to the forum.

“The high calibre of national speakers secured to speak at the forum, combined with local experts, will provide a great insight to the Australian and local cruise shipping industries,” said Gary.

“Importantly, delegates will learn how to pitch their product to the international cruise ship market and gain an understanding of the short and long-term schedules of the industry.”

The forum program includes a combination of presentations, workshops and panel sessions. An exciting initiative is a ‘speed dating’ session that will allow local businesses to meet with cruise industry decision-makers and develop business relationships.

Managing Director for Abercrombie & Kent, Sujata Raman, said her company was proud to be involved as guest speaker at the cruise forum.

“It is a privilege to be offered this excellent opportunity as it gives us the chance to hear from cruise experts, encourages supplier interaction and allows us to present some of the learnings we have gained over our many years of delivering shore excursions to cruise lines around the country,” said Sujata.

“Newcastle’s reputation as an international cruise ship destination is growing and Cruise Hunter hosting the forum presents a great opportunity for us to speak to and meet the local businesses who help create memorable experiences for our cruise guests.”

The 2012 Hunter Cruise Forum has been organised with the support of Cruise Hunter, Tourism Hunter, the City of Newcastle, Maitland City Council and Port Stephens Tourism.