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Cruise Liners’ Passengers Spend $2 Million In Fiji

Cruise Liners’ Passengers Spend $2 Million In Fiji
Cruise liner Voyager of the Seas
May 09
11:03 2018

Fiji Ports received more than 81 cruise liners in 2016, 17 more than recorded in 2015.

With an estimation of a tourist spending $200 injects over an estimated $2 million into the Fijian economy.

According to Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) 2016 Annual Report, chairman­Shaheen Ali said Fiji’s ports play a major role in the fast growing cruise liner industry.

“The onus is on FPCL, the private sector, and Government to continue working together to maximise opportunities and advantages for Fiji,” Mr Ali said.

“Predictions are that in the coming four years 26 new cruise ships will be launched globally with more than 50 per cent to be built with a capacity of 3000 to 5000 passengers.

“Cruise ship tourism brings numerous posi­tive outcomes for local economies, and Fiji is no different. When a cruise ship docks at one of our ports it brings immediate economic ben­efit to the community,” he said.

However, he said with benefits come respon­sibilities and the company needed to deal with the logistic and environmental challenges in­volved with servicing the sector’s needed.

“Cruise ships keep getting bigger in size and more frequent in arrival placing increasing demand on resources. The company must ensure visitors receive a professional level of stakeholder coordination and assured high-end safety and security at all times,” he said.

“Of note for 2016, the arrival of the very large cruise liner Costa Atlantica which brought more than 2000 tourists from China to Suva for the first time.

“This was the first cruise tour to originate in China, and cross the equator and the inter- national dateline with Fiji as one of 12 South Pacific Island destinations on the itinerary.

“Regular visitors to our ports are P&O, Carnival and Royal Caribbean International vessels,” he said.

He said the global maritime transport indus­try has been growing by around three per cent annually the past three decades with over 80 per cent of world trade now conducted by sea.

“Maritime transport is, without question, an important means of transporting goods while remains the cheapest way of transporting,” he said.

“In addition to the benefits derived from tour­ism through the cruise ship sector it should be noted too, that Fiji is a maritime nation and as such a trading nation with an open export orientated economy.

“Fiji’s central location in the Pacific brings enormous logistical and strategic advantages-many of which are yet to be realised, however, we need to be diligent about ensuring our port infrastructure and services reach the high­est possible standard and remain competitive for the country to grow as a bona-fide trading nation.

“Fiji’s main markets are currently Australia, the United Kingdom (US) and United States (US), and our export of goods and services corresponds to about 70 percent of Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Expansionary fiscal policies, particularly large infrastructure and social expenditure programmes, as well as persistently accommodative monetary policy, have supported six years of economic growth for the country since 2010.

“Water, gold and other minerals, garments, sugar and fish continue to be Fiji’s strongest merchandise exports and the mineral indus­try is anticipated to grow significantly in the next decade. Agriculture is a source of (mostly informal sector) income for the bulk of the population, and continues to make a moderate but far below potential contribution to growth and is being actively promoted for export. Increasing globalisation of trade and complex­ity of port operations requires the company to stay up to date with port operating systems as it grows.

“The size of ships too, has doubled over time and continues to add challenges to managing port operations while addressing demand for even larger logistical effort. Port security is a major issue as well with more attention need­ing to be paid to creating measures to increase and maintain security for port users and our employees,” he said.

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