Cruise ship complaint assessed

A complaint about new cruise-ship protocols at Port Otago is being assessed by the Commerce Commission.

The complaint, by a Dunedin tour operator, was still being looked at to see if it warranted an investigation, a commission spokesman said yesterday.

Details of the complaint, which was lodged with the commission late last year, were not publicly disclosed by the commission.

The spokesman said each complaint varied in complexity and therefore it was not known how long the assessment would take.

The tour operator who lodged the complaint asked to remain anonymous.

They said the complaint related to the agreement made last year about how tours and other attractions would be marketed and sold to cruise-ship passengers from the wharf.

Port Otago banned individual tour operators from hawking on the wharf, because of security reasons as well as complaints from passengers and cruise-industry staff about unprofessional conduct. The ban was in line with all other New Zealand ports.

It was agreed Dunedin i-Site staff would operate a marquee on the wharf and take bookings on behalf of tour operators. That arrangement has upset some operators, who claimed i-Site staff were biased and generated business for a select few, a claim denied by i-Site staff.

The 2013-14 cruise season from October to May was expected to bring about 148,000 passengers and 65,000 crew to Dunedin on 85 ship visits, and be worth about $32 million to the city.

What's with the DCC

I hope the commerce commission find a ruling to pave the way for future business in Dunedin. In my opinion the DCC  are doing exactly the same as they did to the mobile food traders before receiving a handslap and now amazingly trying to backtrack very fast.  

I have also read recently about Ms Sophie Barker comments about addressing tour operators concerns at the end of the season. 

No business can "wait til the end of any season"  she needs to  wake up! 

[Abridged] 

Cruise ship passenger monopoly.

We made the same complaint to the Commerce Commision four seasons ago about the same problems here in Tauranga but it was a waste of time and money. You won't get an answer from the Commission until the end of the season and they will tell you that your evidence doesn't meet their complaints criteria. The government are on the side of Councils who are the stakeholders in the local tourism organisations such as Tourism Otago and it must also be remembered that the Prime Minister is also the Minister of Tourism. Very difficult to beat the Government and the Council even though it is obvious to every one concerned that it is a monopoly in the truest sense.

Open it up

Why does the DCC maintain authority over independent tourist operators? Where is that law or legislation that an operator must have DCC approval to be in business?

The more the DCC make up rules the more they let down the local entrepreneur.

How does anyone maintain a business in Dunedin without the mean spiritness of the DCC and its criteria for tour operators.

Wider investigation required

Tour operators at Akaroa were moved from the wharf's hard core area (which incidentally no deeds could be produced to prove ownership) to the road immediately before the wharf.

However Christchurch Canterbury Tourism (CCT), operator of the i-site have a sales and general information kiosk opposite the independent tour operators. They compete directly against the independent operators, whilst at the same time selling for others.

Being publicly funded they should sell for everyone or no one, without having to request upfront fees to ensure sales going to any one particular operator.

The commerce commission might wish to take a wider interest in what i-sites are up to. [abridged]

 

 

 

 

 

Good luck with complaint

We tried the same complaint twice in Tauranga four season ago and were told we didn't have enough evidence under their rules for investigation. We had spent a lot of time and money for nothing. The commerce commision will string it out until the season is over in the hope you people will all go away. This is all about making money for Councils and you have to remember that the Prime Minister is also the Minister of Tourism. Hard to beat those organisations. 

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