The value of cruise tourism in Australia 2017/18 equated to a staggering $4.8 billion in economic benefits – with $1.2 billion of that figure, coming from passenger spending, according to Cruise Lines International Association’s economic report.

On average, an international cruise passenger spends $590 per day pre and post cruise and $215 per day in transit ports while domestic cruise passengers spent $447 per day pre or post cruise and $165 per day in transit ports.

NSW still had the greatest economic output with passenger visit days at 1.4 million and passengers spend a staggering $2.8 billion with Victoria and Western Australia following with $317 million and $276 respectively.

Queensland came in second with 778,000 passenger visit days and the economic output was $1 billion.

Joel Katz, the managing director of CLIA said the increase in number of homeported ships as well as the growth in regional destinations, has contributed to the increase in the amount spent in Australia.

“The new economic assessment found that the cruise industry continues to make significant contributions to Australia’s economy and will continue to have a positive economic benefit if the industry is able to achieve sustainable growth in the coming years,” Mr Katz.

“Each year more Australians are choosing a cruise holiday and we’re also seeing more passengers opting to sail in local waters which means they’re spending more time ashore visiting regional ports. This all translates into significant economic benefits for businesses and communities far beyond our ships and ports.”

Jill Abel, the CEO of the Australian Cruise association pointed out some of the fastest growing ports which has been a big win for regional Australia.

“As the global cruise industry continues to grow and expand into new destinations, Australia remains a vibrant hub for cruising. We are now seeing this benefit from our country’s major gateway cities as well as fast-growing regional ports such as Broome, Cairns and Eden which are benefiting from infrastructure and destination development.”

Some of the lesser known ports and anchorages around Australia include Wyndham and Kuri Bay in Western Australia, Yirrkala in the Northern Territory, Fraser Coast in Queensland, Coles Bay in Tasmania and Eden in Newcastle.

President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises as well as the chairman of CLIA, Sture Myrmell said this year’s wave season will hopefully herald in bigger figures next year.

“We’re going to have some of the newest and biggest, some making their inaugural, some favourites returning, expedition style and luxury ships.

“Sydney remains the cruise gateway but there are 45 ships making 285 calls and regional Australia is sharing the economic benefit. There are about 45 ports and anchorages and this year we are visiting every single one. So it’s not just about the capital cities, but regional Australia.”