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New Zealand cruise industry bounces back

Joel Katz at right, with, from left, the Australian Cruise Association CEO Jill Abel, Tansy Tompkins, newly elected chair of NZCA and NZCA CEO Jacqui Lloyd
Optimism abounded at Friday’s annual conference of the New Zealand Cruise Association in Christchurch.

Christchurch was scheduled to host the event in 2020 and again in 2021, but both conferences were cancelled due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

The 2020 conference was to mark the city’s recovery from the devastating February 2011 earthquake and the following year to celebrate the opening of the new purpose-built cruise berth in nearby Lyttelton.

NZCA 2022 was held in Auckland, where the first conference was held in 2013.

Friday’s event, held at the Christchurch Town Hall, attracted delegates from major ports and tourism organisations across the North and South Islands.


‘Here in New Zealand we have every reason to be optimistic about the future,’ Joel Katz, MD of Cruise Lines International Association Australasia, said.

‘Cruising may have returned late to this region, but it is clear we will catch up with other parts of the world swiftly.'

He said cruise lines have scheduled a strong presence in New Zealand over the 2023/24 summer ahead.

More ships than pre-pandemic

‘In all, about 55 cruise ships will visit New Zealand over the coming summer season, a higher level than had been planned in 2019-20 before the pandemic,’ he said,

‘Together they will spend more than 1,200 port days in destinations around the country, which is 14% more than scheduled in that pre-pandemic season.

‘That equals to about 1.8m passenger days in port, which I think you will agree will be a phenomenal contribution to the national tourism economy.’