Charter operators missing out?

Sydney’s cruise ship infrastructure needs major investment according to the Tourism & Transport Forum

Charter operators missing out?
There is concern that charter coach operators will miss out on business, unless a major investment is made to Sydney Harbour to accommodate large cruise ships

Tourism & Transport Forum chief executive Margy Osmond says without an immediate solution to address the current lack of cruise infrastructure in Sydney Harbour, more top cruise companies will bypass Sydney, with tour and charter coach operators missing out on business.

"Cruise shipping is the most dynamic and fastest growing sector of the Australian visitor economy, and has rapidly become one of the great success stories for Australian tourism," she says.

"Demand for ocean cruising is surging internationally and Australia is currently positioned as one of the world’s fastest growing cruise markets, with passenger numbers increasing by 20 per cent on average each year for the past 12 years.

"However, our largest cruise gateway, Sydney, is at peak capacity and with the world’s top cruise companies now diverting their premier liners, the time for action to recover lost cruise business, prevent further withdrawals and ensure that growth can occur, is now.

"If Sydney is not available as a destination for large cruise liners, the whole country will miss out. We are now on the verge of a cruise crisis."

The organisation has called on the Federal Government to look into establishing common user terminal facilities at Garden Island for the use of large cruise ships.

"Work needs to be done immediately to secure supportive infrastructure on the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge," Osmond says.

"With port facilities at Circular Quay at full capacity, and an increasing number of ships too large to pass beneath Sydney Harbour Bridge to access the White Bay terminal, the only deep-water option in the city which is able to accommodate growth is Garden Island.

"Port Botany is not the answer, the big draw is Sydney Harbour.

"TTF and the cruise industry has been calling for years for the NSW and Federal Governments to develop a fair sharing arrangement with the Royal Australian Navy to allow cruise ships to access the infrastructure at Garden Island permitting visitors to disembark directly onto the shore."

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