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Cruise ships a major boost for regional economy

Published: 17th October 2018

Ports North welcomes the latest data on the economic impact of cruise shipping in the Far North Queensland region which was valued at almost $170 million for the 2017-18 financial year.

According to the latest data released by the industry’s peak bodies this was an increase of $11 million on the previous year.

The Cairns region, which includes Yorkeys Knob, accounted for $152.2 million of that figure with the Ports of Cooktown, Thursday Island and Port Douglas generating the remaining $16.9 million.

“Our region is a premier cruise shipping destination and the Cairns Shipping Development Project will build on this success by opening the way for larger vessels to enter the Trinity Inlet,” Ports North Chairman Russell Beer said.

The Economic Impact Assessment of Cruise Tourism in Australia 2017-18 was released jointly last week by the Cruise Lines International Association Australasia and the Australian Cruise Association.

It found Sydney led the nation in the most-visited port or anchorage, followed by Brisbane, Melbourne then Cairns.

“Cairns is number four in Australia behind three major cities and ahead of 37 other cruise ship destinations throughout the country,” Mr Beer said. “We continue to punch above our weight.”

The report provides annual comparison of the state of the industry in Australia including wages, jobs and both direct and indirect expenditure.

It found cruise shipping was worth $4.8 billion to Australia during 2017-18. It generated total wages and salaries of $1.4 billion and 17,369 full-time equivalent jobs. Direct spending was estimated to be $2.3 billion. Of that, passengers spent $1.2 billion, crew spent $37 million and Cruise Lines spent $1 billion.

In Cairns, passengers spent $40 million, crew spent $2.4 million and Cruise Lines spent $32.8 million.

Media Contact for Ports North:
Andree Stephens 07 40523815 or 0418186293

For information on the report: visit

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