TOWNSVILLE has been chosen by the Australian Cruise Association to hosts its 24th annual conference in September 2020.

Queensland tourism minister, Kate Jones said Queensland’s cruise industry was growing strongly and welcomed the conference to Townsville.

“Queensland’s cruise industry is worth $1.1bn to the state’s economy and to host this conference once again will ensure we have the attention of cruise line decision-makers from across Australia and around the globe,” Ms. Jones said.

The announcement was made at the final session of the 2019 ACA Conference in Geelong.

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ACA chief executive Jill Abel said they were looking forward to bringing the conference back to Queensland.

“It is also important for us to support Australia’s regional port network which plays an increasingly important role in the growth of the cruise tourism sector in Australia,” Ms Abel said.

It is anticipated about 120 people will attend the Conference in Townsville to be held from 9-11 September 2020.

Port of Townsville chief executive Ranee Crosby said hosting the conference was timely for Townsville as it would come during the port’s $193m navigation channel-widening program.

“We have a very strong focus on growing cruise visits, and our channel widening project will enable us to accommodate the larger ships visiting Queensland to our world-class cruise ship terminal,” Ms Crosby said.

In other cruise news, the ACA has just announced its new management committee for the year ahead, with two positions being replaced.

Thor Elliott (Fremantle Ports) stepped down at the end his six-year term and his role as ACA treasurer with and Jay McKenzie (Bob Wood Cruise Group) also finishing her term.

Matthew Carley (Port of Brisbane) and Karlie Cavanagh (Inchcape Shipping Services) were voted onto the committee.

Scott Lovett (Tourism NT) and Martin Bidgood (Intercruises) were re-appointed to the committee.

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