Australia: Cruise industry seeks Prime Minister’s support

CLIA AustralasiaCruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison seeking a breakthrough in discussions over the industry’s future ahead of next month’s review of Australia’s cruise suspension.

CLIA Managing Director Joel Katz said the industry had renewed its call for cruising to be included in Australia’s four-phase plan for reopening and was seeking further discussions on a framework for resumption before the current suspension ends on September 17.

“We can’t simply extend the cruise suspension yet again without having a plan for the future,” Mr Katz said. “We need the Prime Minister to provide a breakthrough and allow detailed discussions to move forward, so we can have certainty for the 18,000 Australians whose jobs depend on cruising.”

Mr Katz said Australia remained one of the only major cruise markets in the world where governments had yet to achieve progress on a resumption of cruising. He said this was despite 12 months of discussions with governments and the availability of stringent Covid-19 health protocols which were already working successfully where cruising had resumed overseas.

“With the release of the Doherty advice, it is clear there is an opportunity to align a carefully managed cruise restart with the national four-phase plan,” Mr Katz said.

“This should be highly achievable – the new health measures cruise lines have adopted globally are the most stringent to be found anywhere in tourism. Already more than 900,000 people have sailed successfully overseas, providing extensive insight and evidence to support a resumption in Australia,” he said.

“Now that Australia has clear vaccination targets and a plan for reopening to travel, we need to ensure that cruising is included in this plan and that we have an agreed framework for resumption,” Mr Katz said. “It can take months to prepare for operations, so we need to be having those detailed discussions now to ensure we’re ready for a careful resumption when conditions allow.”

(CLIA Australasia)