Townsville selected by Australian Cruise Association as the 2020 Conference Venue


The Australian Cruise Association (ACA) announced that it will hold its 24th annual conference and AGM in Townsville, Queensland, in September 2020.

The successful bid by Townsville Enterprise Limited, Townsville City Council and the Port of Townsville was supported by Tourism Events Queensland.

Tourism Industry Development Minister, Kate Jones said Queensland’s cruise industry was growing strongly and welcomed the conference to Townsville.

“Queensland’s cruise industry is worth $1.1B to the state’s economy and to host this conference once again will ensure we have the attention of cruise line decision-makers from across Australia and around the globe,” Ms. Jones said.

The announcement was made at the final session of the 2019 ACA Conference.

Making the announcement, Jill Abel, CEO of ACA said, “We are looking forward to bringing the conference back to Queensland which is enjoying a high level of cruise visits.  It is also important for us to support Australia’s regional port network which plays an increasingly important role in the growth of the cruise tourism sector in Australia. As such, this will be the fourth year our Conference has been held outside a gateway city.”

“In the previous cruise season, 16 cruise ships visited Townsville attracting over 20,000 passengers and crew,” said Townsville Enterprise CEO, Patricia O’Callaghan.

“Having the opportunity to welcome the cruise industry to our city in 2020 will only help to raise awareness for all that Townsville has to offer and see us increase our cruise business even more.”

It is anticipated that around 120 people will attend the Conference in Townsville to be held from 9-11 September 2020.  This includes leading national and international cruise executives and representatives from the supply side of the cruise sector – shore excursion operators, port authorities, provedores, shipping agents and tour businesses. 

Commenting on the successful bid, Cr Jenny Hill, Mayor of the City of said “This is a wonderful outcome for Townsville as it will give us the opportunity to showcase our fascinating and progressive coastal city to attendees. With numerous tourism offerings such as our rich military history, diverse nature experiences and extensive events calendar, we are the perfect stop on any cruise itinerary.”

“Regional ports provide opportunities for cruise passengers to step outside the metropolitan landscape and immerse themselves in the fascinating regional experiences which make up the colourful fabric of our country.  Townsville delivers on those in spades with support from the enthusiastic community including the welcoming volunteers, transportation operators and the local businesses including retailers, cafes and tour companies. It is also a highly accessible port and passenger terminal” added Jill Abel.

The Port of Townsville CEO, Ranee Crosby said the hosting of the Conference is extremely timely for Townsville as it comes during the Port’s $193 million investment to widen the navigation channels.  “We have a very strong focus on growing cruise visits, and our channel widening project will enable us to accommodate the larger ships visiting Queensland to our world-class cruise ship terminal.”


About Australian Cruise Association:

Australian Cruise Association is the co-operative marketing brand for cruise tourism in the Australia and Pacific region and represents a diversity of interests including regional ports, international, national and state tourism agencies, shipping agents, inbound tour operators and companies dedicated to marketing the region as a world-class cruise destination.