Saturday, December 1, 2012

THAT MYTH IS UTTER BULLSH*T.

Akaroa is having around 85 cruise ship visits this summer season.

Many of you are led to believe that is a boost for the town and surrounding area.

The truth is somewhat different as many of the locals, both residents and businesses only receive disruption and inconvenience.

Many of the passengers do not even come ashore. Around a third in fact,  another third wander the streets and the other third take  a bus tour out of the area.

A majority of the visitors appear to have spent their budget on the cruise and associated pre booked addons.
Very little spending with local business is occuring.
Traffic management undertaken by STMS is staffed by out of towners with little understanding or consultation and chokes the narrow streets with waiting tourist coaches.

Yesterday four emergency response volunters being paid nothing spent over four hours, mostly waiting on the wharf to treat and transport two passengers and for the second one, Air1 the Westpac Helicopter waited for half an hour on the ground here while the liner and its crew made no attempt to assist with timing to lighter the Patients ashore. At least the chopper crew and medics were being paid. Sad that the vollys were not.

The arrogance of the companies and their captains is unbelievable, culminating a couple of weeks ago with around 800 passengers being stranded ashore when predicted weather eventuated and completely overwhelmed already fully booked accomodation.
The ships don't tie up, they anchor out in the middle of the harbour and lighter the passengers ashore 100 at a time. A passenger requiring evacuation is held on board and only put on a lighter as a single passenger after all the other passengers are dealt with, hence the waiting for our ambos.

Many of those who visit our historic town on day trips are very welcome even if they spend bugger all and leave their rubbish and sewerage but the belief  that the town is enjoying a boom is a MYTH.
For many the reinstatement of berthage at Port Lyttleton cant happen soon enough.

2 comments:

Tinman said...

Can't argue with your last sentence GD - I was making a rather good living off those non-spending passengers before the earth moved and Akaroa stole them ;-)

The December passengers tend to be lower spenders but I doubt local merchants are hurting that much.

Don't forget to keep tending that big sign, the one saying When in ChCh intelligent, good looking people use BST Cab 276 so the bus people can read it.

Bazza said...

"Many of the passengers do not even come ashore. Around a third in fact, another third wander the streets and the other third take a bus tour out of the area."

Your breakdown pretty much applies to ports all around the world, so not peculiar to Akaroa.

Akaroa has been a destination, on some cruises, in addition to Lyttleton (pre-quake). The Alpine Express, to Arthur's Pass and return, has been an option from Akaroa but not from Lyttleton on some cruises.
Some tourists, including on coach tours around Europe for example, like to go to the nearest pub/bar and talk to the locals. Others like to shop. Some like the local architecture, museums, art galleries, local cuisine/beer/wine, vineyards. The day trippers like to see something of the country beyond the cities, and learn a great deal from the normally excellent guides who give non-stop commentary. Many will have heard on-board lectures about the port/city/country/customs/demographics before coming ashore (or not). Most will discuss their on-shore activities/purchases/conversations with fellow passengers once back on board.

"A majority of the visitors appear to have spent their budget on the cruise and associated pre booked addons.
Very little spending with local business is occuring."


Onshore spending tends not to be indiscriminate. What do local businesses offer? All that is purchased has to fit airline weight restrictions when the cruise is completed. Cruise passengers need more changes of clothes than the number of days would normally require, so have little baggage space available. They are unlikely to buy something that they can buy at home. Many businesses hike their prices for tourists. On a previous visit to Akaroa three years ago, it was particularly noticeable at one business that they did not hike their prices.

"Yesterday four emergency response volunters being paid nothing spent over four hours, mostly waiting on the wharf to treat and transport two passengers........"

No excuse for that. Communications and time scheduling should be far more accurate than that.

I will be in your fair port on 23 December, a Sunday, so unlikely that I will be in a bar talking to Akaroa locals.