Broome to be a touchpoint destination for new cruise lines

Paul Papalia with Tourism Western Australia’s Christine Cole, left, and Renata Lowe at the sunset welcome party at Broome Surf Life Saving Club Paul Papalia with Tourism Western Australia’s Christine Cole, left, and Renata Lowe at the sunset welcome party at Broome Surf Life Saving Club PHOTO: Helen Hutcheon

Paul Papalia, Western Australia’s tourism minister who opened ACA 2018 at the Indian Ocean-front Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa, said major upgrades to the port will establish Broome as a touchpoint destination for new cruise lines.

Dredging and new gangway

Papalia said a A$7m dredging project to enable 24-hour cruise ship access to the port is under way and an all-tide above-deck gangway is due for completion in 2019.

He said cruise shipping is a vital component of Western Australia’s A$9.2bn tourism industry. It contributed A$387m to the state’s economy in 2016-17 and supported 1,448 jobs.

It provides direct economic benefit to the state’s 10 cruise gateway destinations—Albany, Augusta, Bunbury, Busselton, Esperance, Exmouth, Fremantle, Geraldton, Port Hedland and Broome.

Papalia said growing the cruise market and attracting more people to regional Western Australia is part of a two-year action plan.

Ample visitor attractions

He said Broome and the Kimberley have much to offer cruise passengers.

‘They can ride a camel, marvel at dinosaur footprints, catch a movie at the oldest operating picture garden in the world, have an authentic Aboriginal culture experience, visit the world’s only horizontal waterfalls and enjoy a beer at one of the most remote breweries in the world—the iconic Matso’s Brewery overlooking Roebuck Bay,’ he said.

He welcomed the announcement at the conference by Dean Brazier, md of Cruise and Maritime Voyages, that Broome will be a key destination for the 1,220-passenger Vasco da Gama which, as previously reported, replaces Astor for the company’s 2019-20 extended Australian season.

Brazier told delegates itineraries for Vasco da Gama, P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Eden, are due for release in a few weeks.

'Refresh' of Fremantle terminal

The foundation professor of tourism at Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University and chairman of Cruise Western Australia, Ross Dowling, supported Papalia’s comments about the state’s commitment to cruise tourism.

Dowling said one of the major developments is a A$3m ‘total refresh’ of the Fremantle Passenger Terminal, to be completed by the end of this year.

Posted 15 September 2018

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Helen Hutcheon

Australasia correspondent