The federal government’s decision to allow cruise ship access to Garden Island will support continued growth of corporate cruising and open more opportunities for MICE bookings, according to Carnival Australia.
Following a long battle over cruise access in Sydney, the federal government this week granted shared access to the Garden Island navy base over the next two seasons.
Three cruise ships will be allowed to berth at the naval base, going further than the previous arrangement which allowed berthing only on a limited basis.
With 260 ships expected to visit Sydney this financial year, Carnival Australia chief executive Ann Sherry welcomed the decision as “excellent news” for the Australian cruise industry.
“The Federal Government has recognized cruising as the standout success of Australian tourism and its growing contribution to the national economy,” she said. “It is a positive step that will help ensure Sydney continues to fulfill its role… as the hub for the world’s fastest growing cruise market.”
While tourism is expected to see the greatest gains, Carnival Australia also coined the MICE market as a major beneficiary.
“The Federal Government’s [decision] can only result in greater awareness of cruise ships as a meeting option along with more capacity and more opportunities for MICE bookings,” a spokesperson told The Nibbler.
After actively targeting the MICE market this year, Carnival Australia expects improvements to cruise access will spur further growth in incentive and corporate meeting bookings.
However, Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive John Lee added that shared access was only a short term solution that failed to address critical infrastructure shortages.
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