According to a press release, the Australian cruise industry grew 30 percent in 2011-12 over the preceding year, outperforming other tourism sectors. The growth is attributed to an increase in ship visits to major cities such as Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Fremantle, with a total increase from 573 ship visits in 2010-2011 to 736 last year.
And, yes, all those purchases of koala keychains, decorative boomerangs and pints of VB do add up. The study reports the following big numbers:
And the biggest numbers of all? "The study revealed total expenditure by the international cruise shipping industry in Australia in 2011-12 was estimated at AUD$1.77 billion compared to AUD$1.1 billion in 2010-11," says Chris White, chairman of Cruise Down Under, in the press release. "In addition to the international expenditure… when domestic passenger spending is added back into the economic effects, the total expenditure grows to AUD$2.4 billion."
--by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor