Bill McAulay gave us the Viewpoint tonight. He said,
'I will start by acknowledging that we have many Rotarians who have enjoyed ship cruising and that I am wearing a Yangtse River Cruise cap.
'My viewpoint is that we have an opportunity to reset what New Zealand wants from the tourism industry - specifically what we want from the NZ Cruise Sector after Covid-19.
'Last year the most popular ports were Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Dunedin and Fiordland.
'Some facts and outcomes:
- 'Last year 320,000 passengers (50% Australian) visited here and the ships, passengers plus crews spent $570 million in New Zealand. They also only paid $50 million in GST. There are 40 crew for every 100 passengers. Cruise tourists are not spending big bucks in NZ
- 'Cruise ships have been one of the major vectors for spreading Covid-19 around the world. But even prior to 2020 the industry had a reputation for outbreaks of upset stomachs (eg Norovirus). Cruise ships are perfect incubators for illness, in part, because the ships are a closed environment, but also because tourists come on-board to socialise. The ships are floating incubation hotels. Cruise companies, to date, have had inadequate controls over passenger and crew health
- 'Cruise ships are significant contributors to air pollution. They mostly burn high sulphur oils which produce high sulphur dioxide, carbon and particulates. Ships visiting NZ are not subject to our regular air quality controls. Emissions from a single cruise ship visiting Wellington are the equivalent to over 200,000 extra cars per day. Cruise ship owners will not voluntarily meet 21st-century air quality requirements
- 'The cruise ship owners have a dubious record of being incorporated in tax-free havens, using flags of convenience, turning a blind eye to sexual abuse, labour law abuse and ocean environmental court cases. Cruise ship companies’ values are not NZ values
'We have allowed tourism quantity to prevail over tourism quality.
'I would like the current style of cruise ships to be banished to the bad-boys'-corner'.