A new online maritime vessel scheduling system launched this month in Hawaii, integrating the state’s existing and separate Department of Transportation and Department of Land and Natural Resources port schedules into a single system.
Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) officials are hopeful the combined system will make it easier for cruise ships to visit and tour within the Aloha State.
“While cruise arrivals have been declining, we believe that this system should be able to alleviate some of the challenges the cruise lines have faced in coming to the Hawaiian Islands,” George Szigeti, HTA president and CEO, said in a statement.
Through the end of July, just over 134,000 visitors have traveled to Hawaii by ship or have flown to the Islands to board a cruise ship this year, an 8.6% drop vs. the same period in 2014. Last year, a total of 125 ships toured within the Hawaiian Islands, carrying 243,390 passengers.
Hawaii welcomed more than 8.2 million total visitors in 2014.
“While still a smaller market for the state, cruise lines provide visitors with a unique way to experience the Hawaiian Islands,” Szigeti added.
Hawaii officials worked with PortCall.com to develop the Web-based system and software to streamline vessel scheduling and analytical reporting across Hawaii.
“For the first time, cruise lines and other maritime industries have complete transparency over berth availability across the entire state with a consistent reservation process in every port,” Bryan Bender, the CEO of PortCall.com, said in a statement.