A record number of delegates are converging on Auckland today for the first full day of the Cruise New Zealand 2017 Conference.
Held at Auckland War Memorial Museum, 205 attendees are expected at the event, up more than 50% on last year’s 136 registrations.
Portal to Success is the theme of the event, which will hear speeches from Tourism Minister Paula Bennett and Tourism NZ chief Stephen England-Hall among a dozen presentations and panel discussions.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff launched the conference last night telling an audience of cruise professionals “who would have imagined that the cruise industry here in Auckland was going to grow at the rate that it is”.
“[Auckland] had 104 ships last year, in December we had the Ovation of the Seas – the largest ever cruise liner to visit Auckland – and in February, at one stage we had four ships in the port at the same time,” said Goff.
The number of ships visiting the city is expected to treble, with around 400,000 passengers a year arriving in Auckland in a $50m dollar industry by 2029.
“So your industry is important to us,” said Goff “It’s important to this institution at which we are gathering at the moment, which I have just been told is the largest venue for cruise passengers anywhere in the country.”
“The other thing I was pleased to hear was that your passenger satisfaction ratings for Auckland are at the top of the level for visitors to NZ, and that is really great.”
Speakers at the event include Bruce Krumrine, VP Shore Operations at Princess Cruises, Stephen Bradford, chair of the Australian Cruise Association and Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt.
The event concludes today.