A report seeking to guide sustainable cruise ship growth in Tasmania over the next three years has recommended the sector focus on increasing yield and the regional dispersal of visitors.
The report, Blueprint for Sustainable Cruise Shipping in Tasmania, by Tourism Tasmania said cruise ship passengers spent $30.5 million in Tasmania during 2018-19, with the aim of increasing passenger spend to $50 million by 2022.
Other goals outlined in the report include increasing the take-up of organised shore tours from 40 per cent to 50 per cent of cruise passengers by 2022 and growing the number of people influenced to return to Tasmania on holiday by a previous visit on a cruise ship from 10,960 in 2019 to 15,000 by 2022.
To deliver these goals, the report recommended:
- convening a Regional Anchorages Working Group to assess small ports and establish under what circumstances these areas can be safely visited,
- presenting businesses cases to cruise operators to secure longer ship stays in port,
- and, increasing yield and dispersal by working with ship-sold and independent shore tour operators.
The report recommended Beauty Point be promoted to small luxury cruise liners.
It recommended the development of a targeted familiarisation program to facilitate engagement between Tasmanian tourism operators and shore excursion companies.
A wharf upgrade business case, to allow the port to berth small luxury ships up to 240 metres, should be developed and considered, the report said.
The establishment of a Regional Anchorages Working Group would allow for the assessment of areas such as Promise Bay, Bicheno, Swansea and Maria Island as alternative East Coast anchorage points to Wineglass Bay, the report said.
"There is strong interest from expedition liners, 100 to 350 passengers," it said.
All vessels over 100 passengers are currently excluded from Wineglass Bay under a voluntary commitment from all cruise lines, the report said.
Tourism Tasmania chief executive John Fitzgerald said the report was the "road map to success" for the next three years.
"This is our action plan as to how we get the right ships to the right ports," Mr Fitzgerald said.
"What we are looking to do is extract maximum value and minimise impact from cruise shipping.
"We can only do that by dispersing the visitors further across the state and getting them to take more shore excursions."
Mr Fitzgerald said, whilst the cruise ship passengers are a valuable asset to the state, it was important to make sure they were not having an adverse impact on the destination when they arrive.
"If we can better sequence those ships, we can make sure the flow of visitors on shore, and importantly into those businesses involved in the shore excursion programs, will have a better outcome for both our visitors and those programs," he said.