THE WESTERN Australian government has announced plans to raise the state’s profile as a cruise destination and bring more cruise ships into its ports.

The announcement came during the WA Cruise Exchange in Perth, a conference that aims to connect industry leaders with representatives from Western Australian ports.

The ports of Albany, Broome, Busselton, Dampier, Esperance, Exmouth, Fremantle, Geraldton and Port Hedland are represented at the event.

Shipping agents, ground handlers and representatives from peak cruise industry bodies including the Australian Cruise Association and Cruise Line Industry Association are also attending.

The government is also launching its Western Australian Cruise Tourism Strategic Plan 2023-2033 at the conference.

The plan outlines berth details, terminal facilities and transport options at each port, and strategic initiatives to boost Western Australia’s presence in more cruise ship itineraries in the future.

WA tourism minister Rita Saffioti said the event is an opportunity for WA to share its “untapped potential” with the global cruise industry.

“It’s wonderful to see recent results into Western Australia’s key tourism markets indicating the global appeal of our state as a cruise holiday destination continues to increase,” Ms Saffioti said.

“The WA government is fully committed to positioning Western Australia as a premier destination for cruise ships, and is determined to see the state’s cruise tourism sector continue to grow.”

Cruise companies expected at conference are Ambassador Cruise Line, APT Travel Group, Carnival Australia, Coral Expeditions, MSC Cruises, Ponant Yacht Cruises, Luxury Expeditions and Royal Caribbean Group.

The Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council – the peak body for Aboriginal tours and experiences in WA – is also at the event.

The conference began on Wednesday 19 July and will wrap up on 20 July.