A fresh, user friendly website and weekly communication with members and the wider New Zealand community have, in part, helped member numbers grow from 67 to 92. ‘We are facebooking, tweeting up a storm, instagramming and ‘LinkingIn’,’ chairperson Debbie Summers told delegates at the association’s AGM at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. New Zealand can expect to see nearly 350,000 cruise visitors over the 2018/19 season, a 30% increase on 2017/18. There will be around 1000 port visits, up from 750 last year. Cruising has grown, on average, 14% per year since 1997 when 20,000 cruise passengers visited.
According to Statistics New Zealand, the sector contributed $434 million to the country’s tourism economy to the year ended June. Global passenger counts are estimated to increase more than 65% from 24 million last year to almost 40 million in 2030. And the value of the cruise order book is sitting at US$67 billion. The 2019 conference returns to Auckland on 22-23 August. • For more on the 2018 conference see pages 9 & 15.