(from left) Princess Cruises senior vice president Asia Pacific, Mr Stuart Allison; premier of South Australia, Mr Steven Marshall; Sun Princess captain, Mr Diego Perra.
ADELAIDE - Australia's cruise industry is celebrating its return to the bushfire-affected communities of Kangaroo Island after the arrival of Sun Princess at the port of Penneshaw in late January.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) managing director Australasia, Mr Joel Katz, said the ship's visit was a major milestone on the island's path to economic recovery and sent an important message to the outside world.
"Today's visit by Sun Princess demonstrates the resilience of the Kangaroo Island community and helps show that Australia is open for business and ready to welcome visitors from across the globe.
"Nationally, cruise tourism is worth more than A$5 billion (US$3.35 billion) a year to the Australian economy and will play an important role in supporting local communities as they recover from this summer's fires," Mr Katz said.
Located near the city of Adelaide, Kangaroo Island is known for its scenic coastline, prolific native wildlife and artisan food and wine producers.
Cruise tourism on the island has grown significantly in recent years, having increased from three ship visits in 2012 to a schedule of 26 ship visits over the current southern-summer season.
Cruise vessels visiting Kangaroo Island in 2019 to 2020 have a total capacity of more than 54,000 passengers and crew, whose spending provides vital economic benefits to the local community.
All major cruise lines in Australia are currently operating as scheduled and continue to visit ports around the country as planned.