TWO cruise ships are making return visits to Geelong this month in a strong show of support for Geelong and the region’s tourism attractions.
Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons said the visits were further proof of the need for Geelong to have a new pier with dedicated cruise ship facilities.
“This is great news for Geelong and will bring a big economic boost to our region.
“It just shows what could be possible if we had a new pier at Yarra Street.”
Seabourn Odyssey, which docked last week with 450 passengers and 330 crew.
Later this month will be the larger Marina, with 1,250 passengers and 800 crew.
Both of these ships are returning to Geelong after visiting in 2015.
“Geelong is clearly on the radar of the cruise industry,” Cr Lyons said.
“All of these visitors will be excited to spend their time exploring Geelong, the Bellarine and the region sampling the best of our restaurants, cafes, food and wine.”
Cr Lyons said an independent business case in 2014 had shown that Geelong could attract 25 cruise ships a year if a dedicated cruise ship terminal was built.
“The cruise industry is tourism’s fastest growing sector and it is worth more than $3.6 billion in Australia alone.
“A dedicated terminal on a new Yarra Street pier region each year and would help secure a larger cruising market.
“It would also improve access to the water, support major events and enhance other recreation, economic and tourism opportunities.”