Apia, Samoa, September 1, 2014—Cruise
tourism injected $34 million Australian dollars into the Pacific island
nation of Vanuatu and brought an estimated further $18 million dollars
in indirect economic benefits last year, according to a new study.
The study, jointly funded by cruise company Carnival Australia, the Australian
Government, and World Bank Group member IFC, also found that the cruise
industry is estimated to provide more than 3,000 employment opportunities
Vanuatu Prime Minister, the Hon Joe Natuman, Australian Foreign Affairs
Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop, World Bank Group Vice President Rachel
Kyte, and Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry AO, announced the results of
the study at a press conference held in Apia today to coincide with the
Small Island Developing States conference.
In Vanuatu, the findings were announced simultaneously in Port Vila by
the Hon Ham Lini, Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Industry,
Commerce and Tourism.
Prime Minister Natuman said, “There are twice as many visitors arriving
in Vanuatu by ship rather than by air, but until now we have had no real
data validating the importance of cruise tourism on the country’s economic
growth and job creation.” “Based on this report’s recommendations, we
can further grow the industry and provide more business and employment
opportunities for our people,” Natuman said.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the private sector is a major
catalyst for development, and as part of its economic diplomacy agenda,
Australia is committed to strengthening links with businesses across the
”The study will help determine future areas of focus under the Australian
Government’s partnership with Carnival Australia to enhance the economic
opportunities tourism can bring to countries in the Pacific,” Minister
According to the Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism in
Vanuatu, each cruise ship arriving in Vanuatu brings $257,000 worth of
direct benefits to a range of businesses and organisations. Cruise
tourism annual expenditure of $34 million is equal to nearly 10 percent
of the country’s exports. Data for the study was provided by the Pacific’s
key cruise ship operators Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean, as well
as passengers, businesses and government.
The World Bank Group, through IFC, has been working to attract more tourists
to the Pacific nations of Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu. “Cruise tourism can
boost household incomes and create jobs for local people,” Kyte said.
“We hope that other Pacific countries such as Samoa and Tonga can make
use of this Vanuatu study and sustainably grow their tourism industry.”
Carnival Australia and DFAT are working together to further the sustainable
development of Pacific economies, and the study is one of the key outcomes
of their partnership. The partnership focuses on Vanuatu and Papua New
Guinea and has the potential to be implemented in other countries in the
Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said the Vanuatu economic impact study
and Carnival Australia’s partnership with DFAT confirmed that the long
value chain of cruising was reaching deep into the South Pacific to deliver
“In addition to being a landmark study, this report is also a forward
looking document that paints a picture of how other destinations in the
South Pacific can leverage the benefits of cruise tourism as demonstrated
by Vanuatu’s experience,” Sherry said. “We stand ready to work
with other governments and communities in the region to identify the next
steps to open up new destinations to cruise ship visits.”
Tourism is vital to the sustainable growth of the Pacific islands, contributing
an estimated 11 percent of the region’s gross domestic product and 13
percent of total employment in 2012, according to the World Travel and
Economic Impact Study
of Cruise Tourism in Vanutu
Summary of Key Findings (all figures in Australian Dollars)
- In 2013, cruise ship companies, their
passengers and crew spent $34 million in Vanuatu, which is equal to nearly
10 percent of exports.
- In addition, cruise activity brought
an estimated $18 million to businesses and individuals that work with firms
directly supplying the cruise industry.
- The cruise ship industry is estimated
to provide more than 3,000 employment opportunities in Vanuatu.
- Each cruise ship voyage brings an average
of $257,000 to the Vanuatu economy and one cruise ship passenger brings
$124 of expenditure.
- Port Vila receives 85% of all passenger
spend in Vanuatu (and 80% of all spend). This is due to Vila’s high number
of calls and well-developed excursions and shopping opportunities.
- Cruise arrivals to Vanuatu have grown
by about 15 percent annually for the past 10 years. Last year 240,000 cruise
tourists visited Vanuatu. Two-thirds of all visitors to Vanuatu now arrive
by cruise ship.
- An additional $35 million of net economic
benefits over 10 years has been identified through investments profiled
in the report. These opportunities are focused on destination development
and providing improved access to the cruise market for Vanuatu businesses