Clean Cruising today confirmed it will soon reach a devastating $100 million landmark in the value of thousands of cruise holiday cancellations amid increasing frustration over the lack of a restart plan for Australia’s cruise industry.
Brisbane-based cruise specialist travel agent, Clean Cruising, is facing a devastating $100 million landmark in cancelled holidays, as the restart plan for cruising remains a mystery.
Clean Cruising General Manager Dan Russell said his company had now seen well over a year’s turnover wiped out with the combined impact of international border closures, interstate border restrictions and the ban on cruise ships.
Mr Russell said it was profoundly disappointing that federal and state governments are yet to produce a framework for the resumption of cruising more than a year after the cruise ship ban was applied and set to run until at least September 17.
“The past year has been frustrating at so many levels with no indication of when the current crippling uncertainty will be resolved,” Mr Russell said.
“Within days, our company alone will reach a devastating landmark of $100 million in the value of cruise cancellations as the cruise ship ban continues and international cruise lines abandon their Australian seasons due to the ongoing uncertainty.
“Some cancelled bookings might have transferred to future cruises but there is no doubt we have taken a massive hit, and we are not alone. There are hundreds of other travel agents across Australia for whom cruising is a key part of their business.
“It is just as frustrating to know that in spite of calls for a restart plan it is no closer and it seems there is no prospect of one.
“Everyone understands that Australia continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19 but it is still reasonable to expect federal and state governments to engage and to agree on a restart plan to provide some certainty.
“Businesses are being expected to keep treading water and unable to plan for the future with it now looking increasingly likely that cruising will not resume until 2022.”
Mr Russell said Canberra kept saying it was involved in a dialogue with the cruise industry but there was no evidence that anything at all had been achieved.
He said this appeared to be an attempt to keep a key part of the tourism economy at arm’s length knowing that no serious effort was being made to achieve an outcome.
“We have specialised in cruise holiday travel for 14 years and we have built a business and created jobs on the strength of its growth but we can’t keep treading water forever,” Mr Russell said.
“It hurts even more to know that there is no serious attempt to reboot a key industry especially as more and more Australians get vaccinated so that they can return to a normal life.
“Our customers are cruise loyalists and they look at overseas markets where cruise ships are again sailing and wonder why governments here are not bothering to engage.”
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