Tourism across Victoria is in for a major boost, with the return of cruise ships and increased direct international flights.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos today visited Station Pier in Port Melbourne to welcome 2,500 tourists aboard the Coral Princess – the first major cruise ship with passengers to dock in Melbourne in more than two years.
More cruise ships are scheduled to visit from late October through April next year, including Cunard’s iconic Queen Elizabeth which will dock in Melbourne from mid-November.
The return of cruises to Victoria is a welcome boon to to the state’s economy. In 2019, Victoria’s cruise industry employed more than 1,000 people full time and contributed $353 million to the state’s economy, bringing in more than 300,000 visitors to our state.
Station Pier, located on the doorstep of Melbourne’s CBD, will continue to be Victoria’s premier cruise ship destination, while Geelong, Portland and Phillip Island will also be active regional ports for cruises and are set to begin operations in early December.
Representing another show of strength in Victoria’s growing tourism industry,United Airlines is increasing direct services to Melbourne and will offer daily flights from both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The popular Melbourne-San Francisco route will commence daily flights this year from 28 October, increasing passenger capacity between Victoria and the United States, while Melbourne-Los Angeles will resume on 28 October and increase to daily flights on 1 December.
Investment from the Andrews Labor Government has ensured the Victorian tourism industry is primed to welcome international tourism, with new connections delivering more visitors to destinations across the state.
Quotes attributable to Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos
“Today marks an important milestone for the state’s tourism and recovery efforts. It’s fantastic to see cruise ships back on our shores with passengers from all over the globe.”
“Australia remains high on the list for many US travellers and new connections direct to Victoria mean that millions of visitors will start their trip down under right here – boosting tourism and supporting local jobs and businesses.”
Quotes attributable to President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia Marguerite Fitzgerald
“We are so excited to welcome the first cruise ship to arrive in Victoria since the pandemic begun. We hope to see many more in the future.”
Quotes attributable to Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus
“United will soon fly 14 return services between Melbourne and the US west coast, offering millions of people in North America one-stop access to Melbourne and delivering a huge boost for tourism and the Victorian economy.”
Reviewed 14 September 2022