Tourism set to boost

(Unsplash/Alonso Reyes)

The return of cruise ships and increased direct international flights could be a major boost for tourism in Victoria, the state government has announced.

Tourism, Sport and Major Events Minister Steve Dimopoulos visited Station Pier in Port Melbourne on September 15 to welcome 2500 tourists aboard the Coral Princess, the first major cruise ship with passengers to dock in Melbourne in more than two years.

“Today marks an important milestone for the state’s tourism and recovery efforts. It’s fantastic to see cruise ships back on our shores with passengers from all over the globe,” Mr Dimopoulos said.

“Australia remains high on the list for many US travellers and new connections direct to Victoria mean that millions of visitors will start their trip down under right here – boosting tourism and supporting local jobs and businesses.”

The state government said more cruise ships are scheduled to visit from late October through April next year.

United Airlines will also increase direct services to Melbourne and offer daily flights from both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“United will soon fly 14 return services between Melbourne and the US west coast, offering millions of people in North America one-stop access to Melbourne and delivering a huge boost for tourism and the Victorian economy,” Melbourne Airport chief executive Lorie Argus said.