AUSTRALIAN Cruise Association chief executive Jill Abel has had her contract extended by three years.

The decision will extend her time at the helm until July 2022.

ACA chair Grant Gilfillan said Ms Abel had done an outstanding job in her 14 years with the association.

“During her tenure, our membership numbers have nearly doubled, with the association now representing a diverse range of organisations including gateway and regional ports, international, national and state tourism agencies, shipping agents, ground handlers, inbound tour operators, iconic attractions and companies dedicated to marketing the region as a world class cruise destination,” Mr Gilfillan said.

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Jill Abel began working in the cruise industry in 1995 when she became a consultant to Hobart Ports – now TasPorts – looking after the operations aspects of cruise ship visits.

Since her appointment to the association in 2005, she has overseen all marketing initiatives of the member-based organisation including international sales missions and attendance at international cruise events.

“I have been fortunate to lead the association through some truly exciting times,” Ms Abel said.

“Cruise has grown exponentially in the last decade with more homeporting than ever before out of our gateway cities, increased regional port visits and new cruise lines such as Viking, Windstar and Dream cruises entering this market – bringing international visitors to complement the strong domestic market.”

Ms Abel said she saw great prospects in the coming years to work more holistically across the industry.

“We also are excited about working with regional destinations to enhance their development making them cruise ready,” she said.

“This will lead to greater visitor dispersal around the country.  There is so much more to be done and I am grateful for the confidence shown by the Committee in allowing me to continue to drive these opportunities.”

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