Portland showcased as premier cruise destination

PORTLAND was showcased as a premier regional cruise destination at Australia’s biggest cruise conference in Western Australia this month.

Glenelg Shire Council met some of the world’s biggest cruise operators at the Australian Cruise Conference in Broome, where industry heavyweights consulted on the future of the world’s fastest growing tourism sector.

Mayor Anita Rank said Portland was showcased with a glossy new brochure supported by a promotional video highlighting the region’s vast tourism assets.

“The cruise ship industry is anticipated to experience between three to five percent growth over the next decade with 100 new cruise ships currently being built,” Ms Rank said.

“This adds to more than 300 cruise ships currently operating around the world.

“It was evident at the conference Portland has a premier product to offer, with access to some of Australia’s major tourist attractions, including the Great Ocean Road, Coonawarra Wine Region and Grampians National Park.

“This is in addition to on-shore offerings including seal tours, Glenelg River cruises, cape and beach attractions which receive rave reviews from passengers.

“The fact we have one of Australia’s best deep sea ports, which can cater for larger vessels, means Portland is a destination of interest for many of the world’s premier cruise companies.”

Ms Rank said six cruise ships were booked over the next three years, with the first arrival of the season on January 10.

“Given the positive reception received at the conference, we are hopeful of further bookings beyond 2020,” she said.

She added a key message at the conference was the importance of council working with partners – including the port, government and tourism operators – to build the region’s destination profile.

“Last year a record 1.3m Australians experienced a cruise – this is a staggering percentage of the population and a trend that shows no signs of slowing,” Ms Rank said.

“It is critical Portland and the wider region is profiled front and centre at cruise conferences to ensure we are top of mind when companies are planning their itineraries.

“Our tourism unit is working hard to find new experiences and working with our industry partners to ensure a diverse range of offerings to keep luring new cruise passengers.”

Recruitment of volunteers for the 2019 season is now under way, with volunteers needed for the regatta on January 10 and Seven Seas Mariner on January 15.

Contact tourism and events manager Mick Cottee via email mcottee@glenelg.vic.gov.au to register interest.