Cruise Ship Business Booming in Hawke's Bay

By ,   November 13, 2016 ,   Cruise Industry

For Hawke's Bay and cruise ship tourism industry, it's very much a case of business booming.

"It is very much growing,"

Hawke's Bay Tourism Industry general manager Annie Dundas said, adding the buoyancy it brought the regional economy was set to expand given the rise in interest from cruise ship operators who had become aware of Napier, and Hawke's Bay's, appeal to tourists.

During the 2015-2016 season there were 45 arrivals.

Napier cruise port

"This season we will do 55 cruise ships but next season it will be well over 70," Ms Dundas said.

The cruise liner companies effectively booked their schedules two to three years ahead.

"Napier comes up as the first or second best destination in the surveys they carry out with passengers - it is the welcome people get and of course the whole Art Deco thing is so strong - Napier does a great job with this."

It has been estimated that the arrival of 55 cruise ships to the region through until May next year will bring in around $20 million - with more than 70 set to call in the 2017-2018 season that figure will accordingly rise.

"It is so good for Hawke's Bay and we know cruise ship passengers have a high rate of return so their first time experience is very important."

In terms of numbers, recent seasons have on average brought 80-100,000 visitors into Napier and the region and they spend between four and 10 hours experiencing what was on offer.

Ms Dundas said there was plenty of variety on that front.