Following ‘Cruise Ready’ seminars that were held in Bluff and Stewart Island last week, Southland is looking ahead to the 2019/2020 cruise season.
Two seminars were hosted by Great South in partnership with New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA), South Port and the Stewart Island Promotions Association to discuss the holistic destination management approach to cruise visitation.
This included looking at procedures on the day of a cruise ship arrival, infrastructure, shorex excursions, port safety, and environmental and business opportunities in this sector.
With attendance by trade ready tourism operators, Bluff Promotions Association, Bluff Community Board, New Zealand Cruise Association, Invercargill City Council, Southland District Council, Environment Southland, DOC and ISS McKay who manage MPI / customs and a number of operational logistics, it was a great opportunity to consider what the future of cruise visitation looks like for Southland.
Great South GM for Tourism and Events said while the reason for the seminars was the same, the areas of focus and interest between the two locations varied.
“For Stewart Island/Rakiura stakeholders their focus was on improving existing processes and learning more about environmental procedures, comparatively the Bluff seminar involved more discussion on operational logistics and plans to ensure a welcoming arrival for visitors,”
Brown said that together the discussion points provided good feedback for those in the cruise sector and helped to identify areas where further resource is needed.
Along with presentations from the hosting parties, five shorex companies presented, all of whom are seeking new product in Southland for their predominately highly affluent clientele.
While Shorex companies were receptive to Southland’s involvement in the sector, representatives at the seminars stressed the need for existing tourism operators to extend into the cruise market as opposed to developing products/services to service solely the cruise market.