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  • Renee Cluff

    Email Renee Cluff

    Cruising spend nears full steam, injecting $170-million into the Far North Queensland economy

    The cruising industry in Far North Queensland increased in value by $11-million in the 2017/18 financial year.

    That's according to figures from the Economic Impact Assessment of Cruise Tourism, released jointly by Cruise Lines International Association Australasia and the Australian Cruise Association.

    It shows the far north industry, which includes the ports of Cairns, Cooktown, Thursday Island and Port Douglas, is now valued at almost $170-million.

    Taking into account wages, jobs and both direct and indirect expenditure, the Cairns region - which incorporates Yorkeys Knob - was valued at $152-million.

    Ports North Chairman Russell Beer says Cairns placed fourth behind Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne as the most-visited port or anchorage.

    “We continue to punch above our weight.

    “Cairns is number four behind three major cities and ahead of 37 other cruise ship destinations throughout the country.”

    Passengers were the biggest direct spenders in Cairns, forking out $40-million, followed by cruise lines with $32.8-million and crew $2.4-million.

    Mr Beer says the spend will increase substantially once mega-liners can access Trinity Inlet, as part of the Cairns Shipping Development Project. 

    “Our region is a premier cruise shipping destination and the Cairns Shipping Development Project will build on this success by opening the way for larger vessels.”

    The project aims to cater for an additional 70 cruise ships by 2031.