Cruising into Bunbury
The Port of Bunbury is growing in popularity as a cruise ship stopover destination. The first visit was from the Virgo in 2003. Every year since then there has been an increase with nine ships pulling into Bunbury between last November and March this year.
Some of these vessels have as many as 3,000 passengers keen to visit Bunbury and explore the South West region.
To maximise the flow benefits to the whole community from these visits, the Bunbury Cruise Ship Committee has been established comprising representatives from Council, the South West Development Commission, Bunbury Port Authority and Chamber of Commerce.
The committee targets new lines to include a Bunbury stopover in their itinery.
The cruise ships dock at the Outer Harbour, close to the CBD and popular Marlston Waterfront area. A visitor tent at dockside has staff and volunteers on hand to provide a warm welcome and assist passengers with maps and brochures.
A free shuttle bus service has received positive feedback from the shipping lines and passengers.
“This brings people right into the centre of town and enables our local producers and tour operators to promote their goods and services,” said Bunbury Visitor Centre Manager, Felicity Anderson.
“Upwards of 30,000 people are coming through each year and with an estimated spend of between $100 and $200 per person this is a great boost to the local economy. Retailers in particular and noticing the difference.”
Bunbury Visitor Centre has a staff of seven and ten volunteers.