Advance bookings boost for Orkney
Sixty two cruise liners with more than 48,000 passengers have already booked to visit Orkney for 2012 – so far the largest advance booking number for Orkney since cruise liners started to arrive in the 1980’s.
Forward bookings at this time of year are usually for around 20 vessels.
At least 80 visits are expected for next year, generating in the region of £0.5M in revenues for the port.
Michael Morrison, Orkney Islands Council’s Business Development Manager said “With the considerable increase in advance bookings and the Hatston extension going ahead at the end of this year, the future looks bright for cruise line business in Orkney. We are attracting bigger liners and more passengers.”
He added that the increase in growth was due to a number of factors. Orkney increased its cruise profile globally by winning the Cruise Critic Award in 2010. Face to face marketing meetings with cruise lines had replaced attendance at exhibitions, and investment had been made in tour guide recruitment and training.
Commending the hard work of Team Orkney including guides, coaches, pier staff, pilots and meet and greet staff, Mr. Morrison said “Their efforts have paid huge dividends, along with improvements in coach and driver quality, the introduction of a meet and greet service for the growing number of independent passengers, and the reinvention of tour itineraries by shore excursion companies.
“The challenge now is to ensure that while swiftly moving towards recognition as the UK’s most popular cruise line destination we maintain the integrity and quality of the port call as larger ships call in to Orkney and passenger numbers continue to increase.”