An app has been launched to warn Wellington residents when cruise ship passengers are in town.

The idea has come from office workers tired of wondering whether they can go out for lunch without running late because of passengers blocking the way.

The alert system is called FogHorn.

Creator Victoria MacLennan said it would allow users to know ahead of time to adjust their plans, avoid queues and be prepared.

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"So we can keep on welcoming our guests without any stress."

App tester Lou Draper said sometimes the line for the cable car stretched along Lambton Quay.

"It can difficult for us to be able to go and get lunch quickly and get back to work and get on with it."

Draper said people could use the app to change meetings or advise they would be late.
"Or for me personally, that's when I'm making a sandwich at home and I'm taking it to work because I know that it's going to be really busy."

Lambton Ward city councillor Brian Dawson said he didn't have an issue with the app but pointed out information on cruise ship arrivals was already publicly available.

He said hot spots in the city included Mt Victoria, Wellington Botanic Garden and Cable Car Lane.

But Dawson said locals took passengers in their stride and it wasn't a "big thing".

"I see a little bit of concern more about the number of buses on the road rather than the actual passengers themselves but generally speaking locals will take one look at that crowd and they won't catch the cable car."

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Dawson said there were plenty of alternatives to getting to the top of the cable car.

"We have these things called buses as well, or dare I suggest some people could walk."

He said concerned locals had contacted him about the number of buses in the botanic garden and temporary bus stops had been put in place.

"The roads up there are very narrow and there's not a lot of room to get around so it doesn't take much to block traffic if you've got a number of buses coming in at once."

Wreda venues marketing and destination development general manager David Perks said traffic flows through the garden were being assessed.

He said cruise ships passengers spent near to $50 million in the city a year.

Perks said passengers would be in town 66 days this year and a significant number of those were between Christmas and the end of January when Wellington is typically quiet.

He said they did not have a daily impact on locals.

"There are so many great places to eat and get a coffee and buy a sandwich from in Wellington, normally locals can find somewhere different every day."

Perks said volunteers were stationed around the city to help passengers find their way and suggest other things they could see if queues were long.

"It's always good for residents to know what's going on in the city.

"There are lots of things that slow our city down but in some ways those are things that make it vibrant and such a loveable city."