Carnival and AusAID partner to deliver benefits from Melanesian cruise tourism


The luxury cruise line Carnival Australia has signed a three-year deal with AusAID to boost local business tourism opportunities in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

Cruise ship_250The agreement will enable Pacific Island communities to share in the economic benefits of cruise tourism in the Pacific, according to Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia.

‘The South Pacific is now at the heart of the world’s fastest growing cruise market and the Memorandum of Understanding provides a pathway to transform this growth into lasting benefits from sustainable cruise tourism,’ she says.

‘The agreement identifies areas where AusAID and Carnival can partner to help translate the economic benefits of tourism to the region into better incomes and employment priorities for Pacific Islanders,’ Peter Baxter, AusAID Director General said.

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The programme in Papua New Guinea includes the development of training courses for cruise-related businesses, sourcing artwork and handicrafts, placing an Australian Business Volunteer in the Milne Bay area to analyse opportunities and assist women’s groups with artefact sales; and developing diving, bushwalking and cultural events. The two organisations will examine options for improving access facilities at Trobriand Island and Alotau port.

Last year, more than 300,000 Australians went on cruises in the South Pacific.

Cruise ships contribute about US$37 million to Pacific economies and that’s expected to grow to around US$100 million a year within 10 years, according to figures provided by AusAID.