A WARM welcome and a variety of exciting things to do is what cruise passengers want when they visit regional ports like Port Lincoln.
Six cruise ships are scheduled to visit Port Lincoln next season from October 2014 to March 2015 and local tourism operators are being encouraged to make the most of this growing market.
The South Australian Tourism Commission and cruise inbound tour operator Intercruises Australia are running a workshop for tourism operators in Port Lincoln on Thursday to prepare them for the upcoming cruise season.
South Australian Tourism Commission product, cruise and distribution development manager Leah Clarke said the growing cruise industry in South Australia was driving significant economic returns and gave regional ports an opportunity to showcase their best tourism experiences.
She said regional ports like Port Lincoln were seeing steady growth in cruise ship arrivals and it was important they maximised the opportunity by offering a professional warm welcome with shore festivities and a diverse range of tours for visitors.
She said the economic returns were greater than just the money passengers spent on the day they visited.
"It also provides a great opportunity to showcase the region as a must see destination for future holiday planning."
She said research done by Carnival Australia indicated up to 30 per cent of passengers on board its ships intended to return to a destination they enjoyed as part of their cruise for a future holiday.
This week's workshop will give operators an opportunity to learn about current trends in the cruise industry, discuss opportunities and ideas for maximising the benefits of cruise ship arrivals and understand how the Shore Excursion Programs are developed and undertaken when cruise ships arrive in the region.
Ms Clarke said it was important for tourism businesses, the council and the wider community to work together to showcase their region, to maximise the economic return on the day and in the future.