Editorial: Ships ahoy and cash with them

By Andrew Austin

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I had to go to Napier for an appointment on Wednesday and I was pleasantly surprised to see more activity than normal along Marine Parade and in the CBD.

There was a hustle and bustle about the place and it all seemed to be caused by the cruise ship, Dawn Princess.

She was an impressive sight in the port, but it was what she symbolised that meant more to me. That ship and others like her directly translate into tourism dollars coming into our economy.

Plenty of tourists were wandering around taking advantage of all the activities Napier has put on during the cruise season.

An American couple came up to me and asked where they could go on an Art Deco tour.

Three ships have visited Napier so far this week - the Sun Princess, the Dawn Princess and the Oosterdam yesterday.

A total of 65 visits are scheduled through to March.

Figures from a new cruise economic impact report released by Cruise New Zealand show it's estimated the 2012-13 season will inject $23.3million into the economy and also support 429 jobs in the region. These figures are slightly up from last year, because even though there are fewer ships coming into Napier port, they are bigger ones than last year.

Our economy needs this boost as well as the tourists coming to the inaugural Food and Wine Classic, which kicks off today.

The weather is also starting to play its part and forecasts are that the sunshine will continue. This is perfect because it means people will go away with favourable memories of their time here and hopefully tell others to come to the Bay.

Tourism is an important part of our economy and we need to take advantage of the cruise season and events like FAWC to market this region as a must-visit destination.

We know what we have in Hawke's Bay and now tourists from around the world are getting to see it as well.

Here's hoping more of them come.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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