With the prospect of more than 12,000 cruise ship passengers and crew arriving on Kangaroo Island in the next two seasons, the tourism and retail interests on the island must pool their resources to not only make the best advantage for the island’s economy but to create an experience that will lure these one-day stopover visitors to return and explore at their leisure.
While various well-meaning committees, volunteers and welcoming parties have greeted alighting passengers and crew in an ad hoc way previously, resources must be allocated to ensure a professional, consistent and thorough approach.
This is not to criticise past efforts and the hard work done by volunteers.
SA Tourism Commission, having attracted the cruise boats and built a new landing facility at Penneshaw, cannot now walk away and leave the burden of hospitality with overworked local volunteers. It must use its manpower and contacts to liaise between cruise operators, tour agents and the local committee.
The operation must be streamlined so that businesses and drivers are not left with empty premises and empty buses.
Sealink will offer its tour to the wilds and wildlife of the South Coast.
But a shorter tour of the delights of the Dudley Peninsula must surely be a winner if promoted properly as would a tour to Kingscote, taking in wineries, food producers and artistic destinations along the way.
Let these short-term visitors leave the island with an appetite for more, sharing stories aboard of their various island adventures.