P&O cruise brings 28,000 passengers into Gladstone
THIS morning at 9am, the 14th cruise ship to visit the Port of Gladstone is expected to arrive carrying 1950 passengers and 600 crew.
Over the past 18 months, 28,000 P&O cruise ship passengers have come into Gladstone Harbour and next year more brands, including Carnival and Holland America are expected to enter the market.
Today, hundreds and hundreds of visitors will disembark to spend the day exploring Gladstone and its surrounds.
Some will head to the Discovery Coast while others will take a harbour ferry cruise stopping off at Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, tour the city highlights or explore the markets at Feast on East.
Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited chief Darryl Branthwaite said the markets were designed as a passenger welcome experience and to showcase arts and crafts from the Gladstone and Southern Great Barrier Reef regions, food and music.
He said surveys carried out by the AEC found the average cruise ship passenger spent $297 in the region.
"Once multiplied by 28,000 that delivers an amazing economic boost to the region," Mr Branthwaite said.
Over the coming months GAPDL along with Gladstone Ports Corporation and Gladstone Regional Council will work together to further cement the visits by developing the East Shores precinct further and working with operators to create a day trip to the reef for the cruise days.
"It's hoped to build a business case to have a day trip on a very regular basis," Mr Branthwaite said.
"An indigenous cultural harbour experience is being developed by Ngardu Cultural Heritage Tours along with other products as well.
"Over the coming years it is envisaged Gladstone will firmly establish itself as a very popular cruise port."