Cruise ship return another tourism pearler
  • Friday 02 October 2015

Clear skies, warm temperatures and light winds are predicted for the Pacific Pearl’s Sunshine Coast stopover on Tuesday, October 6.

The P&O cruise ship’s scheduled visit will also prolong a sunny stretch for local tourism, including a bumper September School Holiday period and this weekend’s Caloundra Music Festival, that’s set to bring in around 30,000 participants and a $7.2million economic boost.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the arrival of another 1,800 passengers and crew from the superliner would provide another timely boost for the local economy.

“This period immediately following the end of the September School Holidays can often be a bit quiet from a tourism point of view so next Tuesday is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses and tourist operators,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“It’s also another fantastic opportunity for people who’ve perhaps never been to the Sunshine Coast to sample all the great things in their day-long stay on shore and perhaps become long-term tourists here,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Council has worked very closely with P&O, Sunshine Coast Destination Limited and local business and tourism organisations to coordinate this opportunity and we’ll continue to provide active support to ensure we’re an attractive stopover destination on the cruise ship itinerary.

“While it was disappointing that bad weather forced a change of plans in August, the Sunshine Coast set new standards as a stopover destination during the Pacific Pearl’s first visit here on July 20 and we’re ready to show next week’s visitors an even better time.

“We’ll also have lots of activity around the Wharf area for passengers as they prepare to be ferried back to the ship. There’ll be free samples of great Sunshine Coast seafood thanks to Rockliff Seafoods and Buderim Ginger will also be providing some treats and there’ll be a lot more music and action to farewell people that’ll just see them leave on a really high note.

“It’s very important that our visitors have the opportunity to see the best of the coast from a geographic point of view and also from a personal point of view as well.”

The Pacific Pearl’s July visit provided an economic boost of around $250,000. Mayor Jamieson said up to a dozen more cruise ship visits could be on the cards for 2016.

“We’re always looking at ways we can get more people to the Sunshine Coast and here’s a chance for 1,800 people on this ship and more on others in the future to come ashore one day and see the best of what the Sunshine Coast has got,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“It’s also a tremendous boost on the back of the recent announcement about Jetstar adding 40,000 extra seats in and out of the Sunshine Coast over summer and Qantas returning here from December.”

Sunshine Coast Destination Limited CEO Simon Ambrose said local businesses were ready to make the most of next Tuesday’s additional tourism boost.

“This September School Holiday period has been a particularly busy and productive one for many Sunshine Coast businesses and tourism operators and the arrival of 1,800 more visitors  next Tuesday will be a terrific bonus heading into what can often be a soft period for tourism here,” he said.

“We’ve been helping local tourism operators get ready for this and we’ll have a pop-up visitor centre at the Wharf where our ambassadors will provide information for passengers and help them navigate their way to all the local hot spots,” he said

“We’ll also have our visitor ‘passports’ ready to hand to passengers as they come ashore as well as a souvenir bag for their shopping. There will also be more signage for people as they come ashore along with bigger and better markets in the car park at the Wharf,” he said.

The Pacific Pearl is scheduled to drop anchor off Mooloolaba around 8am Tuesday morning.