Cruise line event bonanza

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Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser

An international cruise liner conference in Broome has been touted as a potential “game changer” that could put the town on the map as a must-see destination for thousands of passengers every season.

Cruise Broome boss Shayne Murray said the Australian Cruise Association’s conference next September had the potential to double the number of cruise ships docking at the port and pump millions of dollars into the local economy.

Mr Murray said while the current state of the cruise industry was good for Broome, this could be the largest economic opportunity the town had seen for a long time.

“What we have is the chance for Broome to present itself to the world cruising industry,” he said.

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“Key decision-makers in the industry will venture to the main spots in town and see everything we have to offer.

“After this showcase, the number of cruise ships coming to Broome has the potential to grow from 15 to 30 by 2019. With that comes a massive increase in visitors, which will be a huge economic driver for the town.”

Mr Murray said the whole town needed to work together to create a favourable impression of Broome.

“We all need to be on the same page with this opportunity and show we can support an increase in traffic,” he said. “I hope the Chinatown revitalisation has really come along by this point as its expected completion fits in well with the conference.

“Retailers should be flexible with opening times to fit in with docking times.”

Mr Murray said it was important to communicate to cruise lines that the Port of Broome had the capacity to deal with any issues related to tide and infrastructure.

Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Peter Taylor said cruise ship passengers were a boon for the town, pumping millions of dollars into the local economy every season.

“This is a great word-of-mouth marketing opportunity that potentially opens the door to return visits to Broome,” he said.

It is understood the State Government is considering solutions to improve cruise ship access to Broome.

Shire of Broome acting president Harold Tracey said the exciting news highlighted Broome’s status as a popular tourism and cruise ship destination.

“Council recognises the economic development opportunities offered to Broome by the cruise industry,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to working with different stakeholders in the lead-up to 2018 to maximise the impact of the conference in developing cruise ship visitation to town.”

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