Cruise industry booming

  • 20/08/2015
Cruise industry booming

The cruise boat industry is sailing its way to record profits, but booming year-on-year growth is threatened by a new tax, the industry says.

Cruise New Zealand's latest economic impact summary is predicting the industry will next year add $543 million to the New Zealand economy, up from $436m in 2014-15.

"The next two seasons will break all New Zealand cruise records and this upward trend is expected to continue over the longer term," CNZ general manager Raewyn Tan said.

But she said there were still looming concerns over a border clearance levy, which the Ministry for Primary Industries expects to introduce in 2016.

International cruise companies had said they were considering not visiting New Zealand as early as the 2017-18 season because of the levy, Ms Tan said.

CNZ's economic report says the levy, which taxes people coming into the country, would shrink the industry by $85m in 2018-19.

In June, the Cruise Lines International Association revealed a record number of New Zealanders got on cruise ships in 2014, with 65,609 trips taken, up more than 10 per cent on the previous year.

New Zealand will host the giant cruise ship Ovation of the Seas when it makes its maiden voyage to New Zealand in the summer of 2016/2017.

That follows concerns protest and legal action that scuttled Port of Auckland's planned expansions would cause organisers to cancel the $1-billion, 348-metre ship's visit.

Consultation on the border clearance levy ended in late July and a government decision will be made in October.