Here's an article that points out that dreaming of cruise ships stipping by in Geelong isn't reaistic. With 97 empty shops who would want to wander around our CBD?
Cruise Down Under chair Stephen Bradford has questioned the need for a cruise ship pier in Geelong.
IN what could be the final blow in Mayor Darryn Lyon’s campaign for a purpose-built cruise ship pier, the head of Australia’s peak cruising body has questioned the need for new infrastructure in Geelong.
The chairman of Cruise Down Under, Stephen Bradford, also said cruise ship passengers disembarking in Geelong would be more likely to take bus tours to the Great Ocean Road or Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale than they would be to explore, and spend money in, central Geelong.
Formerly chief executive of the Port of Melbourne and head of Great Southern Railway, among other high-level tourism and maritime roles, Mr Bradford is one of Australia’s most experienced and highly-regarded maritime, tourism and logistics experts.
He said with vying for the cruise industry came the cost of building infrastructure.
Mayor Darryn Lyons' concept design of the Yarra St pier and convention centre
“It’s all right if it’s there — already built — because it’s serving another purpose but when you have to purpose-build it’s a question for State Government on whether to support it. They say yes to some (projects) and no to others,” Mr Bradford said.
While some passengers arriving in Geelong might choose to stay close to the ship and stroll around pretty Eastern Beach, most would take the cruise line’s prearranged day tours, which would transport them about 40 minutes to an hour away from Geelong to attractions such as the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse or spectacular Great Ocean Road, “with perhaps a winery stop for lunch”, he said.
Visitors are more likely to take a tour of the Surf Coast or Bellarine.
As a driver of the local economy and vehicle for job creation the cruise industry might deliver broad, long-term benefits across the region as a whole, but probably not to Geelong specifically, Mr Bradford said.
“Now, what would people do who got off a cruise ship in Geelong? I don’t think they’d go to Westfield. Because large numbers of them are Australian and Westfield is a wonderful shopping centre which serves a great purpose but (would cruise ship passengers) rush to Westfield or visit a Woolies supermarket? Probably not,” he said.
Cruise ship passengers were also unlikely to bolster the coffers of Geelong cafes, Mr Bradford said.
“Don’t expect, in Malop Street for example, for people to sell more coffees and cake. They (passengers) are well catered for on the ship. I’ve wandered through the business area of Geelong myself and it’s great but I’m not sure that I’d do it as part of a major holiday,” he said.
Cruise Down Under is made up of 78 members and represents regional ports, national and state tourism agencies, shipping agents, inbound tour operators and companies.
Mr Bradford has played a key role in the past in the development of the Darwin Harbour foreshore and Darwin port facilities.
He has also been a board member of Ports Australia and deputy chair of the tourism and transport forum.