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Landmark study: Cruise industry worth A$3.2bn for Australia

Gavin Smith believes the study will convince governments and businesses about the value of cruising
A landmark study commissioned by CLIA Australasia has shown that the cruise industry generated A$3.2bn (US$2.8bn) for Australia last year.

The study by Pennsylvania-based Business Research & Economic Advisors found that direct expenditure by passengers, crew and cruise lines accounted for A$1.72bn, while the remaining A$1.49b was for ‘indirect and induced economic output.’

It found that the four biggest operating expenses for cruise lines are fuel, food and beverages, travel agent commissions and port charges -- with agent commissions totalling A$121m in 2013.

In addition to the A$3.2bn economic output, the report also found the cruise industry generated A$1.59bn in value added contribution, A$940m in wages and employed 14,000 people across Australia last year.

The average passenger spend a day in Australian ports was A$371. International passengers spent on average A$756 a day on accommodation, shopping, dining and transport before they boarded  their ship. During their cruise they spent A$204 a day in the ports they visited, mostly on shopping and tours.

Australian cruisers spend an average A$450 a day before they sail, as well as A$156 a day in ports.

Crew spend an average of A$104 a day in Australian ports, mainly on shopping and dining.

With passenger spend accounting for more than A$700m across Australia last year, Sydney, Fremantle and Melbourne had the highest daily pre-cruise spend by international passengers (A$762, A$669 and A$612 respectively). Cairns attracted the highest spend from both international and domestic passengers during a cruise (A$366 and A$187 respectively).

Of the A$724m spent by passengers, domestic passengers accounted for 77% (A$559m) and international passengers 23% (A$165m).

New South Wales accounted for 75% of the national earn from cruising, with Queensland following with 15% and Victoria five per cent.

CLIA Australasia chairman Gavin Smith, regional vp Asia Pacific for Royal Caribbean International, said the survey is a ‘valuable snapshot’ that demonstrates the enormous value of cruising to governments and businesses.

‘This is the first independent report to draw on cruise line data and passenger surveys to show us how much cruise lines, passengers and crew spend across the country,’ Smith said.

‘It is a landmark study which clearly captured the far-reaching benefits of a growing cruise industry.’