Friday, 2 February 2018

What those cruise industry lobbyists probably don't tell the NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight

Once National Party MP for Oxley Melinda Pavey was appointed NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight in January 2017 she met with representatives of international cruise lines and cruise industry lobbyists on at least six occasions before that year ended 1.

In fact the cruise ship industry has been busy lobbying any state ministerthat is seen as even remotely capable of advancing its greedy drive for more harbour access along the New South Wales coast.

I would be greatly surprised if at any of these meetings any mention was made of the fact that cruise ship tourism is often seen as a nuisance to be avoided by those land-based tourists who actually like to holiday near harbours, bays and river estuaries and who freely spend their money there.

So to fill a possible knowledge gap I offer these ministers a few quotes..........

“There are few places in the world with sunset views as spectacular as Santorini, but the tiny island in the Greek Cyclades is reaching breaking point. Almost two million people visited in 2017, 850,000 on cruise ships which drop anchor in its caldera, with passengers staying for a matter of hours rather than days. While those numbers have been capped to 8,000 a day by the island's mayor, with a rising population due to the tourist boom, Santorini is in serious danger of losing its charm.” [CNN Travel, 12 destinations travellers might want to avoid in 2018, 24 January 2018]

"Hi, We are hoping to stay a few days in West End and a few in West Bay and would like to avoid staying in West Bay the days that cruise ships arrive. Does anyone know which days of the week they arrive? Thanks!" [Trip Advisor, 27 January 2018]

“My spouse and I are going to Belize for two weeks next month and would like to make a trip to Roatan. We have been to Belize twice already and love to snorkel so we would love to check out Roatan as it's an easy flight from Belize City. We are concerned however about crowds as we heard Roatan is a cruise ship port. How large is the island? Any recommendations for a place to stay on the island that is far enough away from the cruise ships that we can avoid the crowds and the high prices? Somewhere far enough away that cruise ship passengers wouldnt spent their time going to for just a day but close enough for us to spend a few days? Thank you.” [Trip Advisor, 25 February 2017]

“Cozumel and Grand Cayman can get overrun with passengers from the giant cruise ships that call there. The only way to avoid the cruise crowds is to dive at off-peak times or to go with a dive operator who knows the secret spots.” [Wendy Perrin, 10 March 2017]

If you really want to be on the fjords I’d recommend staying in a village nearby Ålesund, Geiranger, and Trollstigen, but also not too close to any of them. Definitely avoid Geiranger itself, as it’s crammed with hotels and only really offers views of cruise ships and tourist buses. [Heart My Backpack, 11 April 2017]

“For centuries their remote location off the far north of Scotland ensured that they remained an idyllic outpost of tranquillity. Now the Orkney Islands, once pillaged and settled by the Vikings, are struggling to cope with an invasion of cruise-ship passengers. Residents of the archipelago, which has a population of just over 20,000, will be joined by more than 120,000 visitors this summer. The waterborne influx is putting attractions such as Skara Brae, Europe’s best-preserved Neolithic settlement, under strain. Such is the desperation of the island authorities that they are looking at introducing berthing permits and charges in an attempt to ease the congestion. Last year there was an outcry when dozens of German tourists barged their way into a funeral at St Magnus Cathedral…”  [The Sunday Times, 16 May 2017]

i'm happy to report that my husband and i have planned and booked our first visit to key west! we will be there for five days the first week of june, so four weeks from today! i'm super happy to report this, because it is how we are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary, and i won the 'argument' over which trip to take. my husband wanted to do a western caribbean cruise, and i didn't (we've cruised before, me more than him). my point was that cruises are crowded and rushed. i sold this as a 'land cruise'--we will be driving down from MIA over the course of two days, stopping in key largo and marathon to really take our time getting there. we are super excited about it. and....then i checked the port schedule. there will be a ship in port all but one of the days of our visit, and on tuesday there are two (and i fear one is a disney ship). we don't have kids. we don't particularly like kids (sorry). and we definitely do not love huge crowds. so i'm looking for tips on how to best approach our time in key west, knowing that it is going to be pretty packed. [Trip Advisor, 9 May 2016]

On the day I planned to visit St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, I had company from about half a dozen cruise ships. Consequently, St. Mark's Square, the locale of these attractions, was flooded with tourists, way more compared with other days. Plan around these behemoths of the seas. Visit top attractions on days with few cruise ships in port, or get there early. Consult Cruise TT for a calendar of cruise ship arrivals.” [Los Angeles Times, 23 July 2015]

“We will be in Dubrovnik Saturday thru Tuesday (or perhaps Wed) in September. A friend has told us that the cruise ships fill the old town with tourist hordes. Does anyone know if they arrive every day or if they leave by certain time or anything that might help us avoid these crowds? thanks in advance roland” [Rick Steves’ Europe, 4 December 2015]

“Just off the coast of Mexico's Riviera Maya lies the small island of Cozumel, a Caribbean gem of an island. Due to its close proximity to the United States, Cozumel welcomes thousands of visitors each day. Scuba diving is the defining attraction here: with many world-class reefs only minutes away from shore. If you don't dive or snorkel, nor enjoy spending time in or next to the ocean, Cozumel is probably not for you. The tourism industry is developing rapidly here, creating two distinct groups of visitors: those divers staying in the Cozumel Hotels and the people straight from the gigantic cruise ships. Sometimes as many as 11 ships (with plans for more) unload their human cargo onto the island in just a few hours. This means that you could be sharing Cozumel's somewhat limited space, with as many as 6,000 other day-trippers. I've seen many divers and hotel guests become extremely frustrated and annoyed by this cruise ship phenomenon, having to share resources and endure price gouges. So, I'm here to offer you a friendly guide with some handy suggestions and advice for best avoiding the herds.” [Travel Notes, undated]


1. Minister Pavey's 2017 meetings were with Royal Caribbean (28 February & 8 June), Carnival Australia (10 March, 8 June & 8 July), Carnival Global (21 March), Norwegian Cruise Lines (8 June), Cruise Line International Association (8 June & 21 June).

2. Some Berjiklian government ministers who also appear to be on the cruise ship industry's lobbying list are:

Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, Minister for Skills, Minister for Small Business, Nationals MP for John Barilaro;
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, and Assistant Minister for Skills, Nationals MP for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall;
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Nationals MLC Niall Blair; and
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Nationals MP for Bega Andrew Constance.

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