Over 70 per cent of Australia’s cruise passengers believe Sydney should have a third cruise terminal, according to a survey conducted by Cruise Passenger.

Only 11 per cent thought another terminal was unnecessary.

The survey was conducted by cruisepassenger.com.au, which has an audience of 200,000 cruisers, and was part of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards poll which this year received over 11,451 votes.

The results come as the debate over building a new megaliner terminal at Botany Bay is hotting up, with a protest rally planned and a government consultation exercise already underway.

Royal Caribbean has already strongly backed Botany, offering investment and expertise to help move the project forward as quickly as possible. New Managing Director Gavin Smith maintains the industry’s growth has been stunted and a new terminal at Botany would mean new Oasis-class ships – the largest in the world – could carry many more visitors to Australia.

This week, multi-billionaire developer Harry Triguboff backed the plans, saying that it is good for the nation’s economy. He plans serviced apartments at nearby Little Bay for pre and post cruise stays.

“Botany Bay must be developed for cruise ships,” said Mr Triguboff told The Australian, adding that it would be much easier for cruise ships to turn around in Botany Bay than Sydney Harbour.

“It has to be there at Botany Bay. They have tried so many times to do it (turn around) in the harbour. They can’t get there.”

Mr Triguboff recently bought land near Little Bay which he said he wants to capture the pre and post cruise market. The tycoon has indicated he will be building a serviced apartment complex if the cruise terminal plan proceeds. He has approval for 400-500 apartments on the side and says public transport and infrastructure will follow.

“If we get cruise passengers, we will build serviced apartments,” said Mr Triguboff.

RCI’s Chairman Richard Fain, one of the most powerful men in the cruise industry has supported Australia’s love for cruise.

“Botany Bay seems like such a no-brainer. It’s good for the guests, especially non-Australians, because it is close to the Sydney Airport. It’s the least disruptive; it fires on every cylinder,” Mr Fain told The Australian.

“Larger ships need to be taken into account, because they attract a higher per diem per guest. I think we are moving towards a consensus that this is in Australia’s best interest.”

But not everyone is in support of the terminal. Local residents of Yarra Bay have been  protesting against the development of a cruise terminal and have indicated that there is a lack of community consultation.

One resident, Eva Gunning commented on Cruise Passenger saying, ” You want to take our beach away and ruin our other beaches? What exactly do we get out of this?”

Meanwhile the poll also showed the environment and overtourism are playing an important part in decision making when it comes to choosing a cruise holiday.

Over 58 per cent of those polled said that overtourism could or will play a part in where they go on their next holiday, and over 60 per cent said the stance a company was taking on climate change and sustainability would make a difference in their decision to book.  Another 20 per cent said it might make a difference.