Cruise Tourism, regeneration and infrastructure

John McCarthy
Heriot-Watt University
Scotland, UK
• Context: shifting of waterfront uses
• Cruise ship tourism
• Impacts on port/harbour cities
• Case of Amsterdam
• COST Action and checklist proposal
• Conclusions
Context: shifting of waterfront
• Shifting of port/harbour activities to city
• Degeneration of port area
• Exacerbated by historic disconnection
from city centres
Implications for regeneration
• Redevelopment for innovative retail,
residential, leisure/tourism and cultural
• Masterplanning for design and integration
of uses
• High-profile developments to maximise
potential for ‘re-imaging’
Role of tourism
• Tourism often important part of port-city
• Alternative to port or shipping activities
• Historic cities can capitalise on location,
climate and historic heritage
Cruise tourism
• Expanded significantly in 1960s, 1980s
and 1990s
• Rapid growth globally (8% per annum
since 1980
• Mediterranean cruise market has been
expanding around 11-12% since 1992
Cruise tourism cont.
• Investment in new (larger) ships
• Potential - cruise market in Europe
represents less that 1% of the European
tourism market (2% in US)
• Demand for related infrastructure such as
cruise passenger terminals
Large ships
• 220,000 tonne ‘Oasis of the Seas’, built for
Royal Carribbean International, costing
£800m and able to carry 6,296 passengers
• Implications for increased infrastructure
capacity in cruise passenger terminals,
and competition between port-cities
Economic benefits
• Income: visitor spending and job creation
• Image enhancement (modernity, leisure
and luxury)
• New service industries
• Extension of tourism season
• Revenue from passenger terminals with
uses additional to passenger function
Environmental benefits
• Re-use of brownfield sites and vacant
• Improved waterfront-city linkage
• More sustainable urban densities
Social benefits
• Developer contributions may offset
negative impacts
• Enhanced access to waterfront may
benefit local communities
• Provision of retail and leisure uses
• Development of cruise passenger
terminals sometimes with limited
• Homogenization of waterfronts
• Congestion, exacerbated with (albeit
decreasing) seasonality
• Pollution (eg noise, air, water)
Result cont
• Gentrification effects from increased rent
and land values
• Decreased local quality of life from
pollution effects
Case of Amsterdam
• Amsterdam: cruise passenger terminal
(completed 2005) shows importance of
transport infrastructure eg access to
airport in under 1 hour
• Public transport link via tram, and coach
park and terminal
• Mechanised luggage transfer
• Proximity to city centre
Amsterdam cont
• Innovative design / uses include retail /
restaurants / shared use with exhibitions /
conferences for up to 3,000 people
• Now around 200 cruise calls per annum
with 230,000 passengers
Case of Rotterdam
• Similar quality/location albeit smaller
capacity/greater congestion issues
Problems in practice
• Transport – while Amsterdam and
Rotterdam terminals have excellent public
transport links, many passengers prefer to
use coach/bus transfers in practice,
leading to congestion at peak times
• Private buses also much used at the
Rotterdam terminal to link to visits to eg
Kinderdijk, Delft, Leiden
Problems continued
• Local residents – some evidence in
Rotterdam of tensions at peak periods for
cruise ships, and it is expected that cruise
calls may increase from 30 (now) to 60 (in
2016/17) – so tensions may be expected
to increase
Key issue
• Cruise terminals vary in quality including
accessibility (but many more planned)
• They cause problems for local people eg
• Cities may exceed ‘carrying capacity’
• So need to promote good practice via
‘accessibility’ (broadly defined) checklist
(Strategic) physical access to
the terminal
Strategic location in relation to wider road
network and public transport (particularly
allowing easy access to city and airport)
(Local) physical access to the
• For foot passengers, including eg covered
walkways/bridging from ship to terminal,
and from terminal to public transport
• For luggage, allowing luggage transport
• For private cars/coaches, allowing traffic
management/car+coach parking
Mix of uses in the terminal
• Permanent uses for passengers/local
people including restaurants/bars/currency
• Temporary uses including information
• ‘off-season’ alternative uses eg
exhibition/convention facilities
Mix/integration of uses in the
• Synergies/functional linkages from uses
• Synergies within and between these, and
with terminal use (allowing accessibility to
wider benefits for tourists/residents)
Legibility of the terminal
• Allows easy recognition arising from
distinctiveness, eg iconic building can
maximise attraction/benefits for all
Further implications
• Checklist could include issues of
congestion, and potential ‘carrying
capacity’ limits
• Linkage to notions of ‘responsible tourism’
encouraging more equity in benefits
deriving from cruise tourism (eg for local
people, offsetting of pollution etc)
• Checklist should assist with use of
planning instruments, to maximise
benefits and minimise problems
• But ongoing issues for responsible cruise
tourism persist, and relate to wider
governance of tourism and regeneration