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Cruise tourism has multimillion-dollar value to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands

Ann Sherry with PNG Tourism Minister Tobias Kulang in Port Moresby Thursday night
Carnival Australia executive chairman Ann Sherry has travelled to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to release a new study on the multimillion-dollar value of cruise tourism.

The study commissioned by Carnival Australia, the Australian government and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp., found that cruise tourism brought A$5.9m into Papua New Guinea’s economy last year, including an estimated A$200,000 in indirect economic benefits.

The ‘Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruising to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands’ report also found that cruise tourism could grow five-fold in the Solomon Islands, from A$600,000 to A$3.3m by 2017. 

It follows a similar study in Vanuatu in 2014, where cruising was found to be worth A$34m a year. 

It also follows a ‘Cruise Ship Development Strategy’ undertaken by Ted Blamey’s Sydney-based CHART Management Consultants and the ‘Pacific Cruise Tourism Development Strategy’ Blamey presented to directors of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation in Papeete last October. 

Sherry said the new study was a key outcome of its partnership with the Australian government to support sustainable development in the South Pacific.

P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises will make a total of 26 visits to Papua New Guinea this year, bringing more than 44,000 passengers, an eight-fold increase in passenger numbers since 2013.

The two companies will make six ship visits to the Solomon Islands this year, a three-fold increase from last year. 

This will include Pacific Eden’s inaugural visit to Honiara during her home-porting in Cairns from September to November this year.