The industry contributed AUD 5.2 billion (USD 3.5 billion) in direct and indirect output during the 2018-19 financial year.
Figures released by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the Australian Cruise Association (ACA) show that the equivalent of 18,135 full time jobs were supported by the cruise industry in 2018-19, a 6.6% increase on the previous year.
A report said that 1,240 cruise ship visits led to 3.8 million passenger and crew visit days, resulting in direct expenditure by passengers, crew and cruise lines totaling AUD 2.5 billion.
CLIA Australasia Managing Director Joel Katz said the strong growth in economic contribution had been driven primarily by increased spending by cruise passengers.
“Total cruise passenger spending in 2018-19 increased 17.4% on the previous year to reach almost AUD 1.4 billion,” Joel Katz, CLIA Australasia Managing Director, said.
“Cruise passengers now spend an average of AUD 387 each for every day they’re on shore in Australia, which provides enormous benefits to businesses like hotels, restaurants, tour operators and retailers.”
ACA CEO Jill Abel said cruise ships had visited 47 different ports around Australia last financial year, bringing tourism to some of the most remote coastal communities in the country.
“The economic impact of cruising is not only enormous and growing, it’s also reaching locations that might otherwise be difficult for visitors to access,” Abel said.