Kim Kay and her iconic Richmond Bakery in one of Tasmania’s most beautiful and historic towns is proof that you don’t have to be a big business to be part of cruising’s economy boosting multiplier effect.
Prior to the suspension of cruising, Kim and her bakery staff could look forward to up to 12 coaches a day carrying cruise passengers on shore tours and in need of some refreshment.
However, since the cruise ships stopped coming and international borders closed, the bakery’s business has slumped by 50 per cent.
“It has left a big hole for us because each year the number of cruise visitors was increasing so on cruise days we could average 12 buses because Richmond, being an historic town, was added on to a number of local tours,” Kim said.
“It has hit us pretty hard especially from that December through to the end of March period when we received the bulk of cruise visitors.
“The tour coordinators and bus companies would send me the details of how many passengers to expect and I would distribute that information to the other places in Richmond so that they could put on extra staff if they wished.”
Sture Myrmell, President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, said Richmond’s experience was strong evidence that the cruise economy was both deep and wide in terms of its reach and value.
Mr Myrmell said Kim Kay’s experience also confirmed that many of the businesses that benefited from cruising were small family owned and operated enterprises.
“It might come as a surprise to many that a family owned and operated bakery in historic Richmond could be part of the value chain of the $5 billion a year cruise industry,” Mr Myrmell said.
“Businesses both small and large benefit from economic activity generated by cruising but the flow has now been cut off for more than a year with no indication of when the tap might be turned on again.
“This loss of business opportunity for so many underlines why it is so important for federal and state governments to engage and agree on a pathway for the resumption of domestic cruising, knowing that it will be months before any cruise ship can return to Australia.”
In Richmond, Kim Kay is looking forward to better days with international borders opened and interstate lockdowns a thing of the past.
And she looks forward to cruise visitors coming back to her Richmond Bakery. “We are really looking forward to that day,” Kim said.