The effects of increasing cruise passenger numbers: A case study of the Orkney Islands.
(2017) The effects of increasing cruise passenger numbers: A case study of the Orkney Islands., no. 116.
Cruise passenger numbers in Orkney have significantly increased by 300% over the last five years (OIC Marine Services 2017). There is a lack of literature on Orkney as a cruise tourism destination. Therefore, this topic was chosen to explore the effect of increasing passenger numbers to Orkney's residents, other visitors, attractions and businesses. The project also set out to clarify the cruise passenger management onshore. The aim of the study was to understand if cruise tourism is positive or negative for Orkney's assets and if cruise passengers' footfall is managed effectively onshore. To meet the aim of this project, a mixed methods approach was used to gather data using different data collection techniques. Therefore, online questionnaires were used to collect data from residents and other visitors and semi-structured interviews collected data from attraction managers, business employees or managers and cruise tourism stakeholders. The study found that there is a mix of opinion and experiences amongst the residents and other visitors. Attractions are coping with the influx of cruise passengers by using measures to control footfall but archaeological sites could be threatened if cruise passengers continues to increase in Orkney. Cruise passengers visit the majority of the businesses but the increase of income on cruise liner days depends on the ship visiting. Disney Magic was identified as a cruise ship with high spending cruise passengers on-board by some of the local business employees or managers interviewed. Overall, businesses in this study do not depend on cruise passenger expenditure but they benefit from the extra income. It was found that there will be a new Destination Management Plan for 2018-38 for Orkney. Regarding cruise passenger management, a limit of 4,500 passengers has been set to control footfall but some stakeholders believe this passenger numbers should be limited per week and per year. It was clarified that there is a lack of communication between the cruise tourism stakeholders. Recommendations have been made for further research, attraction managers and the cruise tourism industry in Orkney.