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Stuart Allison, Princess Cruises Stuart Allison, Princess Cruises

Tell better cruise stories

The call to better enlighten New Zealanders about why cruise growth is a good thing was a recurring plea from speakers at the NZ Cruise Association conference in Blenheim last week.


‘Cruising is often put under the microscope for its negative impacts. It’s not about too many tourists, it’s about not enough,’ says Stuart Allison, senior vice president Asia Pacific commercial and operations at Princess Cruises. ‘It feels like it’s just us (cruise lines) against the negativity,’ adds Adam Armstrong, Silversea’s senior vice president and managing director Australia and New Zealand. ‘We need some help from the people in the middle, for example the local operators. We can tell many more positive stories about the benefits of cruising,’ says Allison. ‘Destinations know two years in advance when ships are coming, and with how many people. We arrive on time, we know which guests are going where and then we leave when we say we do. We don’t need new roads, hotels, and there’s no pressure on the water table.’


Speaking to overall tourism growth, Rene de Monchy, director commercial Tourism New Zealand says Kiwis need to learn the benefits of tourism beyond the tourism sector. ‘The barber in Blenheim estimates half of the company’s customers are international visitors; and 40% of people seeing the dentist in Kaikoura are from overseas,’ says de Monchy. Debbie Summers, chair of the NZ Cruise Association and executive director of IDNZ, says the cruise industry attracts value through many different channels including bunkering, fresh water, food and beverage supplies. ‘There is value to be gained and not just through the sale of day shore excursions and a ridiculous amount of ice creams sold on hot summer days,’ she says. ‘Cruise passengers are spending with overlands, turnarounds, pre and post programmes and they are spending independently. They are going to come back for a longer visit and friends, family and work colleagues will come also.’