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​​More than 120 national and international delegates are in Perth this week ​for the Cruise Down Under Conference 2014​​​.​

Tourism Western Australia's Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Buckland said Western  Australia's growing popularity as a cruising destination meant it was timely for the State to  host this important national conference.

"The Western Australian cruise shipping industry recorded 68 cruise ship visits in 2013-14 – a 20.3 per cent increase on the previous year," Ms Buckland said.

"Although Fremantle Port welcomed the majority of these arrivals, cruise ships also visited  Broome, Port Hedland, Exmouth, Geraldton, Bunbury, Albany and Esperance.

"These visits generated $116.5 million in passenger spend and our goal as part of the  Western Australian Cruise Shipping Strategic Plan 2012-2020 is to boost the value of the  cruise sector to $274 million by 2020.

"Achieving this objective will directly support the State Government's target of increasing  the overall value of its tourism industry to $12 billion by 2020."

Ms Buckland said the Cruise Down Under Conference 2014, held from September 3 to 5, would provide valuable opportunities for local tourism suppliers to establish networks with  key cruise operators and promote WA as an attractive cruise destination.

"Cruise Down Under will provide visiting inbound tour operators, as well as senior cruise line executives, with an opportunity to experience WA and gain a first-hand understanding of this continuously expanding and evolving market."

Other conference delegates include port authorities, State Tourism Organisations and portside ground handlers.

WA previously hosted the conference in Fremantle in 2005, and this year's three-day event – which is titled 'Beyond gateway ports - Navigating new destinations' - will feature keynote speakers from international cruise liners Princess Cruises and Carnival UK.

Last Reviewed: 2016-11-07