Dunedin should implement a model for cruise ship tour
operators established in Christchurch, an Akaroa operator says.
Robin McCarthy, of the Christchurch Tours group, said the
licence and revolving roster system for tour operators near
the Akaroa port was brilliant.
It alleviated many problems for all involved in the cruise
season, including tour operators, the Christchurch City
Council, the regional tourism organisation Christchurch and
Canterbury Tourism, and cruise agents.
Mr McCarthy said he wrote to Prime Minister and Tourism
Minister John Key, suggesting the model be implemented at all
New Zealand ports visited by cruise ships.
He said discontent among some Dunedin tour operators could be
solved through the model or a similar initiative.
Dunedin City Council visitor industry business development
adviser Sophie Barker said the Akaroa model was something to
consider for use at Port Chalmers.
It required tour operators to purchase $129 cruise season
licences from the Christchurch council, for manned
promotional displays within council property next to the
Licences were similar to hawker's licences and meant tour
operators could meet cruise passengers as they disembarked,
and sell their products within a fair and structured
Operators could also apply to be placed on a revolving
roster, which meant they were each allocated space closest to
the ships on different days.
Mr McCarthy said it meant operators could sell their own
products and interact directly with passengers, as close to
the wharf as was allowed.
Cruise agents and staff from the council and regional tourism
organisation were also happy because operators were
soliciting business in a controlled and standardised manner.
Ms Barker said it was worth looking at all port protocols for
cruise ship tour operators, to find the best scheme for
''We need to look more closely at what happens at other
ports. That's what the debrief is about and every year we try
to make things better. We want to be the best port and keep
the cruise ships coming,'' she said.
Whether there was an appropriate space for operators near the
wharf at Port Chalmers would have to be determined, taking
into consideration any restrictions or regulations by Port
Otago, the New Zealand Transport Agency and the council, she
At any rate, the opinions of operators about a licence scheme
would be sought and other suggestions would be considered, Ms