31 Jul 2013

Cruises seen as way for smaller islands to grab share of market

6:34 pm on 31 July 2013

Cruise liners are heading to the Pacific in greater numbers and marketers say they could provide an edge for smaller islands struggling to compete in the tourism market.

A marketing manager at the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, Petero Manufolau, says the strong Australian dollar has meant more Australian tourists have opted for cruise holidays this year.

21 cruise ships have visited Samoa so far this year, and the Samoa Tourism Authority predicts 30 cruise ships to visit in 2016.

Petero Manufolau says it's a good opportunity for smaller countries.

"They do not have the infrastructure on the ground to accommodate mass numbers who have the propensity to spend a bit more so the cruise sector is seen as a way out for them in the sense that they have great destinations to showcase and they do not need to worry about accommodating issues because they've got them being accommodated on board but still enjoying the scenic beauty and the facilities available at the destination."

Petero Manufolau says governments and the private sector need to collaborate and raise destination awareness.