Cruise survey indicates huge benefits for Orkney economy
Orkney’s cruise ship industry generates almost £3.1m (€3.7m, or £3.083m*) for the local economy each year, according to a recent survey.
The survey was carried out by Orkney Islands Council in the summer of 2013 using ten ships docking in Kirkwall and Stromness between May 21 and September 27.
2,511 passengers in total were surveyed and 659 crew members.
The survey also revealed that 97% of passengers felt that their visit met or exceeded their expectations.
Visitors rated the friendliness of residents, courtesy of shop staff and local transport options as the best parts of their Orkney experience, alongside the county’s historic sites and museums. The ‘Meet and Greet’ shoreside welcome provided by the Council through local tour guide operators was also praised.
95% of those surveyed said it was their first visit to Orkney.
The survey indicates that each cruise passenger spends on average around £46 (€55) while ashore, with crews spending just over £8.30 (€10).
Across the 73 cruise ship visits in 2013, the total spend by passengers and crew, while ashore or on tours in the county, was reported at £2.25m and £61.6k respectively.
Discounting spending on pre-arranged and self-arranged tours, the estimated spend on the ‘high street’ by passengers and crews was €1.035m (£0.8m).
The top categories of spending by passengers were crafts and souvenirs (51.3%), restaurants and bars (44.4%) and clothing (20.8%).
Of the 51,000 cruise ship passengers who visited Orkney in 2013, 90% said they would recommend Orkney to friends and family as a tourist destination, and 23% said they would like to return.
Chair of Orkney Islands Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor James Stockan, said: “The overall economic gain to Orkney of almost £3.1m, through harbour dues, passenger tours, and spending at tourist sites and on the high street, is a fantastic achievement in the current hard financial times.
“Many, many people in Orkney contribute to this - from our Meet and Greet staff to the friendly faces on the street and in our shops and tourist sites.
“We should all feel proud that the county continues to attract cruise ships in today’s competitive climate, and that we send people away with a smile on their face and good words for the county - and in many cases, a determination to return.”