The number of ships visiting Auckland doubled over the last decade. A record number of cruise vessels are expected to dock in 2015.
Figures provided by New Zealand Economic Impact Summary report show the cruise sector contributed USD 190 million to Auckland economy over the summer cruise season in 2014. That included 115 sailings, with 188,500 guests and 75,000 crew visiting the port city.
Auckland Council-owned ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) announced that the number of arrivals had been expected to grow up to 249,000 passengers in 2016 summer - a 32% increase on 2014. That would bring USD 250 million boost to the economy of Auckland.
Brett O'Riley, ATEED chief executive, said that cruise ships were the major contributor to visitor economy. He added the sector in New Zealand continued "to grow at record-breaking levels".
Auckland Council launched a 12-month study to look at the long term alternatives for meeting port's. A range of options were considered for future development, including for bigger cruise ships. Plans for Auckland port extension drew widespread rallies and protests.