Representatives from Western Australia’s port destinations have a chance to pitch their business to major players from the cruise industry at an event to raise the profile of the State as a cruise shipping destination.
The WA Cruise Exchange (WACE), hosted by Tourism WA, has attracted representatives from eight global cruise lines to WA for workshops and networking opportunities.
A host of leading cruise lines including Carnival Australia, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Cruise and Maritime Voyages and Ponant are attending the 2019 exchange, along with first-time attendees, Silversea, Australian Pacific Touring, MSC Cruises and Crystal Cruises.
National travel group Journey Beyond has also joined the event for the first time. Their involvement confirms the growing popularity among interstate and overseas tourists for WA package holidays combining train and cruise ship travel.
The exchange gives cruise industry leaders a forum to meet with WA port destination representatives and learn about the exciting range of on-shore activities the State can offer their guests.
WA’s 11 port destinations of Fremantle; Esperance; Albany; Busselton; Bunbury; Geraldton; Exmouth; Dampier; Broome; Kuri Bay and Port Hedland are being represented at the event, as well as the peak body for Aboriginal tours and experiences in WA; WA Indigenous Tourism Operators Council.
Cruise representatives will also have an opportunity to visit some of the port destinations, including the Coral Coast and Burrup Peninsula, with the aim of including them in future itineraries.
They will also visit Albany, including a tour of the National Anzac Centre and Torndirrup National Park before watching an AFL game at Perth’s world-class Optus Stadium.
An inaugural WA itinerary has recently been confirmed by Crystal Cruises, with its newest cruise ship Crystal Endeavor scheduled to visit WA in April 2021, while Dampier is set to welcome two cruise ship visits from APT’s Caledonian Sky in 2020.
It is the fifth time WA has hosted the exchange, with the number of cruise lines taking part more than doubling since the inaugural event in 2013.
As stated by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
“The WA Cruise Exchange is a great initiative by the State Government, through Tourism WA to show the cruise industry that we have untapped potential when it comes to providing quality shore-side experiences for their guests.
“Our State’s port destinations have an amazing opportunity to secure new business and show the major players in the cruise industry that they have what it takes to be included in their expanded WA itineraries.
“The fact that this event is increasing in popularity reflects the growing appetite the cruise lines have for the unique experiences available in our State.
“We’re delighted that Cruise and Maritime Voyages is currently running with an exciting new WA itinerary that includes longer stopovers at WA ports, as well as announcing its newest vessel, Vasco De Gama will home-port in Fremantle for the 2019-20 season.
“And arriving in November will be Princess Cruises Sun Princess superliner that will homeport in Fremantle for a record 141 days.
“The cruise industry is worth $276 million to our economy and we’re committed to building the relationships that will see this number increase.”