Friday 18 October 2019

Retailers hit out at port's cut to cruise ship visitors

Celebrity Eclipse arriving in Dublin Port in April of last year. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Celebrity Eclipse arriving in Dublin Port in April of last year. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Samantha McCaughren and Michael Cogley

Retailers have clashed with Dublin Port over plans to restrict cruise ship traffic due to capacity issues.

As revealed in the Sunday Independent last month, Dublin Port is to greatly curtail cruise ships using its facilities and may axe the business altogether.

Port boss Eamonn O'Reilly said that rising freight volumes and the need to create space due to Brexit meant that trade needed to be prioritised over tourism.

Almost 300,000 cruise passengers docked in the city in 2018, up 32pc.

Retail Excellence is to meet with the Port on Tuesday to highlight concerns of its members over the decision which would reduce the number of high-spending visitors to the city. The cruise industry is estimated to be worth €50m to the Irish economy.

"We are concerned that with the significant reduction of cruise ships is a real negative in terms of spending in the city," said Retail Excellence chief executive David Fitzsimons. "The average cruise ship visitor would be a high-spender who enjoys all the city has to offer retail and hospitality-wise."

Dublin Town, which represents businesses in the city centre, said the move would result in a loss of up to €18m a year in spending. It claims cruise tourists spend €250 on average in the city.

Sunday Indo Business

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