24 Apr 2012

New Caledonia eyes million cruise ship tourists by 2020

6:33 pm on 24 April 2012

New Caledonia Tourism says cruise-ship passenger arrivals could reach one million a year by 2020.

There's been a 17 percent growth in passenger visits for the Pacific region over the last five years.

The general manager for New Caledonia Tourism, Simon Duffy, says the cruise industry in New Caledonia has been expanding tremendously over the years.

He says currently there is about half a million visitors a year, and the popularity for cruise-ship visits is all about its proximity to New Zealand and Australia.

"For boats leaving either Auckland or leaving Brisbane, they don't have to go right up into the Cook Islands or further afield to Samoa or Niue, it's the closest South Pacific destination. So for the cruise companies, they can sell the South Pacific cruise, the concept, and it's very close. Also the infrastructure up there, they've built a new wharf, a new terminal. Cruise ships by 2020, they're aiming for a million arrivals per year, so that's big."

Simon Duffy says cruising gives tourists a taste of New Caledonia, and those who enjoy their time often come back for a longer stay, a year later.