THE Port Lincoln foreshore was overflowing with people on Sunday, thanks largely to another cruise ship visit.
The 2600 guests aboard the Golden Princess – the fourth cruise ship to dock in Port Lincoln this season – seemed keen to get out in the city.
Golden Princess is also the biggest ship to visit Port Lincoln to date and the visits are showing no signs of slowing and neither does the industry.
Cruise tourism delivers enormous value to the Australian economy – to the tune of nearly $5 billion a year, according to a study commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia and the Australian Cruise Association (ACA).
The state’s cruise industry is booming with the current season scheduled to receive 84 visits – up 19 ships on last year’s record breaking $118 million season.
Thirteen of those visits will be here in Port Lincoln.
On Sunday the cafes and restaurants were packed, the shops were busy and the market on the foreshore was attracting visitors and locals alike.
Walking past the buses unloading cruise ship passengers it was a little strange to overhear them comparing tours but it also inspired a bit of home-town pride.
These people were excited about spending time visiting the places we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep and they are supporting a bunch of local businesses while they do it.
CLIA data shows more Australians are choosing a cruise holiday and are also opting to sail in local waters.
This means they are spending more time ashore visiting regional ports like Port Lincoln which translates into significant economic benefits for the community and businesses.
The atmosphere of the foreshore and central business district when a cruise ship is docked at the wharf is great and it’s not just ship passengers who reap the benefits of that.
There were plenty of locals wandering the markets and stopping at cafes to watch the cruise ship passengers arrive on what could have otherwise been a quiet Sunday in Port Lincoln.
The increase in activity and shops opening on a Sunday also benefits other tourists visiting the region who might have been looking for something to do – it really is a win, win.