The good old days...Celebrity Solstice in port in Tauranga The good old days...Celebrity Solstice in port in Tauranga

Reopening dates ‘urgently needed’

New Zealand Cruise Association is warning that New Zealand risks losing millions of dollars unless the Government can confirm as soon as possible when our maritime borders will reopen.

The association says the continuing lack of certainty on the future of the cruise sector is also putting at risk hundreds of ailing tourism businesses that support the cruise sector around the country.

The continuing silence from Government on reopening our maritime borders is squandering the enormous contribution that the New Zealand cruise sector could make in providing desperately needed revenue to help regional tourism operators survive into 2023,’ chief executive Kevin O’Sullivan says.

New Zealand has already lost 250 port calls and around $150 million in revenue due to the uncertainty on when the border will open. Cruise lines need time to plan their schedules for the 2022-23 cruise season and time is rapidly running out, O’Sullivan adds.

‘More than 80 countries around the world are now open to cruise, including Australia. We know there is considerable pent up demand among travellers for cruise, but international cruise lines are unwilling to put New Zealand on their list because we are still closed.’ 

The impact will fall most heavily on regions which rely on income from cruise ships in the summer months, especially while international tourism is still recovering, O’Sullivan says.

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