11 Jan 2008

Pacific seeks bigger share of cruise business

3:06 pm on 11 January 2008

A regional tourism marketing group says Pacific countries should be doing more to attract cruise ships.

More than 500 ships will dock in Pacific countries in the 2007-08 year, with passengers spending an estimated 30-million US dollars.

Tony Everitt, the chief executive of South Pacific.Travel says the cruise industry is booming globally, but the Pacific isn't getting its share.

"The South Pacific currently has less than 2-percent share of the global cruise tourism sector. And given that we are the largest ocean on the planet, we have some absolutely stunning cruise destinations, we feel we've got some real opportunities to grab some more of that business."

Tony Everitt says he recognises that unfortunate events have happened recently on cruises, like the alleged rape of a New Zealand woman on board a P&O ship, but says they aren't events isolated to cruising.