When the SuperStar Virgo was heading to Western Australia last year, local authorities put together a “China Ready” task force to deliver a non-English-speaking passenger experience in Fremantle, Geraldton and Albany.
“Destination vignettes were shown aboard the ship with a Chinese voice over and subtitles. Destination posters for each of the Western Australian ports were provided in Chinese and Chinese language destination guides were made. Chinese wording was added to selected signage in the Fremantle Passenger Terminal. A local whiskey distillery was introduced to Star Cruises and as a result, the owner of the distillery was invited to deliver whiskey workshops aboard the ship,” said Gwyn Dolphin, acting CEO for Tourism Western Australia (WA).
Dolphin said Western Australia was the fastest growing cruise region Down Under, pointing to the recent homeporting of the Pacific Eden in Fremantle as an example.
“We have twelve-and-a-half thousand kilometers of coastline and nine active ports,” he said. “Western Australia also has a huge advantage with its climate.”
Last season, Dolphin’s group made a significant investment to produce video vignettes on eight ports, which are being distributed via various channels.
There are also so-called Cruise Ready Workshops, targeted at local businesses and helping them tap into the cruise market.
In July Tourism WA held its third Cruise Exchange event, with a program of B2B workshops bringing together ground handlers and cruise line executives.