Changes to stay

Last year's ''well publicised issues'' concerning operators and cruise ship passengers at Port Otago are over.

The 2012-13 season attracted widespread attention with revelations of tour operators' infighting, of them sleeping in vehicles, and being abusive to cruise passengers at the port.

Those ''well publicised issues'', which prompted the port company to ban operators from the wharf, were over, Port Otago commercial manager Peter Brown said.

''It wasn't about booting people off the wharf. It was around providing a better visitor experience ... making sure we didn't have those issues of congestion, competition between operators for people, which wasn't a good look, and the health and safety aspects of mixing people and machines.''

About 40 operators at a meeting in the Otaru Room heard changes implemented before the 2013-14 season would largely be continued next season.

''We think we can enhance that to make it more successful,'' Mr Brown said.

Signage will be increased and electricity provided so operators can use television screens for promotional purposes.


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