Cruise ship Dawn Princess.
There are mixed feelings among Dunedin retailers about this
year's cruise ship season.
With Dawn Princess - the last of this season's ships -
due to arrive in Dunedin on Monday, those in the tourism
industry are lamenting the lost opportunities of this year's
Early estimates suggested cruise ship passengers and crew
would bring about $32 million to the city's economy but those
hopes are in tatters after seven of 85 expected ships
cancelled their visits to Dunedin.
Dunedin City Council visitor industry business development
adviser Sophie Barker said the weather's effect on the cruise
ship season was ''horrendous''.
The council estimated the city saw about 134,000 passengers
and 60,000 crew during the October 2013-April 2014 season,
well down on the more than 200,000 passengers and 82,000 crew
predicted before the season began.
Despite the cruise ship cancellations, those that did arrive
in Dunedin had spent more money, Tourism Dunedin chief
executive Hamish Saxton said.
Increased confidence among northern hemisphere visitors had
underpinned the increased spending, he said.
''Some of the retailers I have spoken to and some of the cafe
and bar owners I have spoken to are increasingly positive
about the impacts of the cruise sector,'' Mr Saxton said.
Cadbury World manager Kylie Ruwhiu-Karawana said luxury
spending had ''definitely'' increased this season.
''It's almost like the last two years we have come out of an
economic crunch,'' she said.
''It's been a strong, steady season.''
The Scottish Shop owner Erin Hogan said she felt the opposite
was true. Not only were visitor numbers down, but they seemed
to be more focused on buying a bargain.
''A lot of the tourists were expecting discounts and asking
for discounts,'' she said.
Their thrift combined with the weather led to a ''flat''
season. Port Otago commercial manager Peter Brown said the
cancellations were the worst he had seen and ''reflected the
very poor summer''.
For the ships that did arrive, it was a ''successful
season''. Improved weather next year should bring an improved
cruise ship season ''but I think everybody in the South
Island will be hoping the summer is never like that ever