Community effort sees Busselton win international cruise award

By April 18, 2017 January 18th, 2018 Cruise Ships, Industry News & Updates

Busselton has been acknowledged as one of the best cruise ship destinations in the world by Cruise Insight Magazine in its Spring 2017 issue.

The international cruise industry magazine has awarded Busselton the Best Local Initiative award for 2016.

The annual awards recognise the ports and destinations that have delivered their product or service in an exemplary way during the past year.

Unlike many of the other winning destinations including Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Hong Kong and Vancouver, Busselton is new to hosting cruise ships, a fact acknowledged by the Magazine.

Destinations considered for the Best Local Initiative category had to have a partnership of two or more organisations (or groups of people) who together went the extra mile to deliver a product or service that had or would enhance the delivery of the cruise product.

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) CEO Pip Close was thrilled with the win and said Busselton had delivered above and beyond the award criteria.

“Since the first cruise ship arrived in Busselton in late 2014 we’ve had a growing team of dedicated community members and tourism industry representatives determined to create a positive and memorable experience for passengers.”

“A combination of talent including our 70 meet and greet volunteers, Busselton Brass Band, the ArtGeo Cruise In Pop Up Market stallholders, Voices of Vasse, Busselton Veteran Car Club and local buskers creates a festive atmosphere to make cruise visitors feel especially welcome,” she said.

City of Busselton Mayor, Grant Henley agreed that the award belongs to the greater community.

“Passenger satisfaction surveys rate Busselton as one of the friendliest destination points on the Australian cruising circuit. This is thanks to community groups, local business and agencies coming together to create a vibrant and a genuinely friendly welcome. It’s fantastic to be acknowledged for our collective efforts and this award is a great reflection on our community. I couldn’t be prouder.”
Tourism Western Australia Chief Executive Officer Gwyn Dolphin also acknowledged the award.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in this win. Cruise is a very important sector for the tourism industry in WA, contributing $275 million to the state’s economy in 2015-16 and supporting nearly 1200 jobs,” he said.

“Busselton has set the benchmark in delivering shore experiences that will keep people coming back and I’m confident this award will have many future passengers including Busselton shore trips on their itineraries.”

Since November 2014, 21 cruise ships have visited Busselton, delivering more than 26,850 passengers to the city and the Margaret River region for the day.

There are five more cruise ships booked to visit Busselton in 2017, and nine for 2018.

The cruise destination awards were judged by the Cruise Insight Magazine editor and his travel writers who regularly visit ports around the world and combine their thoughts and experiences to select their top destinations.

Cruise Insights Magazine is based in London and published by Ashcroft and Associates Ltd.

MRBTA works with its members businesses and the community to help deliver a memorable and seamless experience for passengers disembarking at Busselton. The organisation recruits, trains and manages volunteers, produces a dedicated cruise ship map and provides temporary shelter and shade on the foreshore. MRBTA also assists Shorex with formulating shore excursion itineraries for passengers.

To get involved in future cruise ship visits contact Matt Norton via matt.norton@margaretriver.com.