Australians could soon find themselves in the position of being able to fly overseas to go cruising but be unable to sail from their own country, CLIA-Cruise Lines International Association warned.
According to Joel Katz (CLIA Australasia's Managing Director), the announcement on the opening of international travel was welcome news for many parts of Australia's travel industry, but a lack of government action on cruising meant the jobs of 18,000+ Australians were in doubt.
“Australia is now one of the only major cruise markets in the world with no clear plan for cruising’s revival.
“Australians love to cruise, but we now face the ridiculous possibility that we will be able to travel overseas to take a cruise but won’t be able to sail in our own waters.”
Katz added stringent new health protocols had allowed a resumption of cruising in dozens of countries, where ~2 million passengers had sailed since 2020. He added the health protocols introduced overseas were working and they needed an opportunity to introduce them in Australia so they could plan a responsible recovery.
“Cruising is worth more than $5 billion a year to our economy and supports more than 18,000 Australian jobs including travel agents, tour operators, transport workers, food and produce suppliers, farmers, entertainers, port workers and technical support providers. These people deserve clarity and a clear commitment from governments to work towards cruising’s revival.”
CLIA and its member proposed a phased resumption of cruising in Australia with new health protocols in place, beginning with limited domestic operations for locals only.