5000-passenger cruise ship to flood Gladstone with $555K

MONEY MARCHING: Hundreds soak up the markets and the easy access to Gladstone city by the simply walking off the vessel.
MONEY MARCHING: Hundreds soak up the markets and the easy access to Gladstone city by the simply walking off the vessel. Paul Braven GLA131215EAST

ONE-hundred and eleven dollars, that's the average amount every person who walks down the gangway of a cruise ship into Gladstone spends here.

That's the estimates from the tourism body Gladstone Area Promotion Development Limited, but the pie could be ever larger, especially if GAPDL and Gladstone Ports Corporation can lure more cruise liners.

Yesterday, GPC announced its plans to build the next stage of East Shores and asked for funding from the State Government to build a purpose built cruise ship transport hub at the Gladstone Port.

>> 'Cruise ship hub' to bring 5000 passengers

>> What to expect from a $1.3b cruise liner

The upgrades would facilitate ships that could hold about 5000 passengers leaving the ship and spending their money in Gladstone.

And the initial estimate of how much passengers spend is a little off as they were from first two ships, on March 10 and March 20.

Since then the shuttle bus system has improved and more tours have been offered.

"We think people spend a couple of hundred dollars each," said GAPDL chief executive officer Darryl Branthwaite.

"Last trip we had about 800 structured tours." he said.


Hundreds gather along East Shores at Gladstone's First Feast on East. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
Hundreds gather along East Shores at Gladstone's First Feast on East. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer Paul Braven GLA131215EAST

Of those, 680 went on shuttle buses and some went to Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation.

"The rest of them just walk through to the town," he said.

He said estimates on the percentages of passengers who walk off the ship changed depending on the itinerary of the cruise.

"The last one had four stops and were all tendered off shore, when they turned up here they were happy to just walk into Gladstone," he said.

"Compared to other ports this one is different that you walk off the ship and you're in town."

And it's not just the passengers who spend up.

"About 30% of 700 crew get off and do a lot of shopping."

If these improvements at the port and negotiations with other companies pay off than the rewards will be more than doubled.

If Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas can be lured to Gladstone once the port is upgraded then that would bring more than 4800 passengers and 1300 crew.

Topics:  beautiful one day perfect the next, cruise ships, gladstone, liners, tourism

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