Cruise sector important

The Majestic Princess in Fiji. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIJIAN cruise earnings in 2017 totaled $10.4 million according to the Fiji Bureau of Statistics.

It is a 15 per cent increase compared with 2016 says Ministry of Industry and Tourism permanent secretary Shaheen Ali.

“The cruise sector is becoming an important segment in the Fijian tourism industry and has been growing phenomenally around the world,” he said.

“The number of cruise vessels has also been increasing year-on-year. “Depending upon the size of the vessel, between 500 to 3000 tourists, along with as many as 1000 crew members, disembark at the multipurpose Ports of Entry of Suva and Lautoka each time a cruise vessel calls.”

He said as the number of cruise vessels increase so do the visitors number, with cruise liners now berthing as long as 48 hours at the port.

“This allows visitors time to travel outside the port premises and beyond the town/city areas,” he said.

“There is need for development of facilities to cater for vessels and activities for these visitors.

“From Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd perspective, it has been suggested that it would be more realistic, efficient and cost-effective solution to develop a multipurpose berthing facility. ”

A facility that would deliver world-class arrival experience for passengers, combined with the unique features of Fiji — its cultural heritage and environment.”

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