The steady increase in cruise ship calls into Fiji ports this year is due to the support of tourism stakeholders and Government departments, says Kenua Shipping Fiji manager Leone Naivalu.
Mr Naivalu made the comment following the arrival in Suva and Denarau last weekend of Pacific Aria.
“We have had 24 cruise ships under our agency in the first and second quarters of this year,” Mr Naivalu said.
“This is due to the colourful feedback from passengers leading to cruise ship owners to have the confidence in having return trips to Fiji,” he said.
“And of course the continuous support of Government and other tourism and commercial stakeholders.
“The enormous benefit to the economy, the returns and benefits at all levels of society are all rewarding and in a big way contributing to the livelihood of the many.
“Then these cruise ships bring on board 1300 to 2000 passengers in a visit.”
Last weekend Pacific Aria with 1391 tourists and 613 crew members called into Suva on Saturday and was at Denarau on Sunday. According to Mr. Naivalu, each tourist spends an average of $66 each when a vessel was in any Fiji port.
“That is a lot of money and the rippling effects is enormous – the taxi driver, the entertainer, the handicraft vendor to mention some,” he said.
“On average more than $100,000 is pumped into Suva in a day which is shared by stakeholders.
“Then for us, we are always on our toes to continue to improve our services.
“Dissemination of information is a critical aspect for our team in ensuring that tourists and others are well informed of our country regulations.”
Mr. Naivalu prefers cruise ships that call in from Monday and Saturday because there are a lot to offer over those days.
“Sundays are quiet and it is usually the shore tour excursions that are open. Mondays to Saturdays are good days as everyone is available and all shops are open during those days.
KSF is local agent for Carnival Spirit, Voyager, Radiance, Diamond Princess, Sun Princess. Pacific Princess, Explorer, Voyager, Noordam, Pacific Aria, Pacific Jewel, Carnival Legend and Sea Princess.
These vessels call into Suva, Denarau, Lautoka, Dravuni and Savusavu ports. Meanwhile, Mr. Naivalu assured that the tight security at the Fiji ports eliminates the chances of stowaways.
“There are strict security control measures at the ports and on the ships,” he said. Meanwhile, KSF is expecting another 72 cruise ship trips in the third and fourth quarters of this year – July to December.
(Source: Fiji Sun SUNBIZ 27 June 2018)