The NZ Cruise Conference 2021 has been postponed until mid-year 2022.
Chairman Debbie Summers says this year has proven that the sector is still in a time of flux and change. ‘The board felt it is better to wait, get a semblance of a season under our belts in 2021-22 and organise something that is positive, value for money and with international speakers at this later time.
‘We are potentially looking at a series of regional updates with members as we travel the country over the remainder of 2021.’
Travel trade and tourism operators were last night clinging to at least some hope that PONANT’s domestic cruising season around New Zealand will take shape in one form or another.
Yesterday the cruise line was continuing to talk to Immigration NZ after its shock last minute decision to prevent Le Laperouse from coming to New Zealand – despite having the green light from the Ministry of Health. At the time of going to press it was believed a final decision would be made today.
Inbound tour operators, hoteliers and other tourism folk enthusiastically kicked 2020 in to touch in Auckland early December when they gathered at the ‘Good Ridance 2020 Pot Luck BBQ’. The barbeque capped off a week that had seen many in the tourism industry meet in Auckland for TEC NZ’s Christmas symposium and the BE Reconnected event organised Business Events Industry Aotearoa (formerly CINZ). Held at the idyllic Vineyard Cottages in Kumeu, the barbeque was organised by Vineyard Cottages owner Elle Armon-Jones and Debbie Summers from ID New Zealand.
Optimism is growing around the resumption of New Zealand based cruising, with PONANT releasing details of three cruises early next year.
The company says it is ‘working with authorities for a potential restart and looks forward to a positive result.’ PONANT adds that the objective is to ‘provide locals with a fabulous luxury expedition programme at the same time as giving economic benefits to
The 2020-21 New Zealand cruise season continues to look grim, with about 40% of port calls in the country cancelled so far, according to NZ Cruise Association figures.
At the same time the number of expected cruise guests in the country over summer has already reduced by nearly 150,000 from the expected 384,000 plus.
Supply chain survival is one of the ‘New Zealand specific challenges’ highlighted by Debbie Summers in her NZ Cruise Association chairman’s report 2020.
‘Our members include retailers, wholesalers, tour operators, port agents, ground handlers, and hospitality – all part of a supply chain that is critical to the sector.
‘In a nutshell it is crucial we all do our best to hold tight, to survive, to ignore the naysayers, to harness our passion and the facts and go out there and fight for the return of our cruise industry,’ Summers told TRAVELinc Memo after the AGM.
In her report, Summers summarised the dire current situation for cruising and outlined a number of challenges to overcome. But she also touched on opportunities – including that cruise lines are looking keenly at our region for a safe and measured restart within our domestic arena. ‘We are talking about kiwi cruises for kiwis just as Air NZ has once again opened the skies for New Zealander’s to see their own country.
‘We can stimulate travel, starting with some really immersive itineraries.’
Summers points out that supply chain survival is largely reliant on borders. ‘We need safe corridors with countries with zero comunication (this is our Government’s indication on who we can do business with in the future) opening as soon as we are able.’
She says New Zealand is fortunate to have a close safe source market (‘heading that way at least’) in Australia. ‘One in 17 Australians like to cruise. They made up over 50% of our cruise market pre Covid 19.’
New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA) says it is working closely with with Maritime New Zealand to re-start the New Zealand cruise market with domestic cruising.
A stepped approach to restarting cruising could begin with cruises to nowhere and then extend out to domestic and regional cruising, the wider industry and affiliates heard at a webinar this week.
Hosted by New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA), the webinar featured Joel Katz, managing director of the Cruise Lines Industry Association Australasia, and was moderated by NZCA chairperson Debbie Summers. It attracted port operators, hoteliers, ground operators, regional tourism representatives, South Pacific tourism operators and more.