Newcastle is on the cusp of a new wave of tourism which has the capacity to transform the image of the city (and the region) as a tourism destination, increase tourism revenues, increase employment, and provide city and regional development opportunities. P & 0 Cruises (Carnival Australia) has planned to make Newcastle a home port for the spring cruise season in September 2010. This paper reports on preliminary results of a study that identifies key stakeholders to examine their views regarding the development of Newcastle as a cruise ship home port and the implications this new form of tourism poses to the city. The study examines a significant development in tourism planning to ask - is Newcastle 'shovel ready' for this new industry? This question is a timely one, because while Newcastle has the port capacity for cruise ship tourism the infrastructure necessary to service cruise tourism remains in the initial planning stage. The complexity of planning for the future development of cruise tourism is evident - destination planning and development is crucial to cater for the increase in visitor numbers that will accompany this new industry. The extent to which key government and industry stakeholders communicate, exchange knowledge and the nature of the networks formed in this regard is a primary focus of this study. How stakeholders position themselves as decision makers in planning for tourism and their visions for future development informed the analysis and provided insight into the dynamics of tourism planning in Newcastle.
16th Asia Pacific Tourism Association Annual Conference (APTA 2010). Proceedings of the 16th Asia Pacific Tourism Association Annual Conference (Macao, China 13-16 July, 2010) p. 329-338