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Cruise ship, passenger return a boon for tourism after Debbie

11 April 2017

The planned arrival of the first cruise ship, with 2000 passengers, at Airlie Beach following Tropical Cyclone Debbie would inject confidence and cash in the Whitsunday region.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who travelled to Airlie Beach with Carnival Australia Executive Chairman Ann Sherry and Tourism Minister Kate Jones, said the arrival of Pacific Dawn at Airlie Beach on Thursday was an important milestone in the recovery for the region's economy.

"I welcome Carnival’s announcement that Pacific Dawn’s visit will be the first of three P&O calls to the Whitsunday coast this month. A total of 34 ships from across Carnival Australia’s cruise brands are scheduled to visit the region this year -- eight more than in 2016 -- while 48 visits are scheduled next year,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Ship turnarounds from Carnival Australia brands in Brisbane would increase from 124 this year to 142 in 2018.

In 2015-16, a record 329 cruise ships visited Queensland according to the Australian Cruise Association.

The Premier also welcomed $10,000 donation from the P&O Pacific Partnership would be devoted to cyclone relief. 

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the cruising industry was booming in Queensland.

“Cruising contributed more than $975 million to the Queensland economy in 2015-16,” Ms Jones said.

"With more cruise ships visiting our shores than ever before, we’re seeing a welcome economic boost for our regions and the creation of more jobs.

“The cruise sector already supports more than 2700 jobs in Queensland and we are well-placed to expand our position in the Oceania marketplace.”