Australian Cruise Industry suppliers have said that Canada’s move to rescind its cruise ship ban is a model for local cruising, highlighting the need for a restart plan here in Australia.
Overnight, the Canadian Government brought forward the rescinding of its original February 1 ban on cruise ships entering Canadian waters based, partly on progress in the rollout of its national covid vaccination program.
“Canada is a comparable maritime nation to Australia and its decision to allow cruising from November 1 subject to its public health orders is a glimmer of hope that businesses and jobs that depend on cruising here can be saved,” Australian cruise suppliers said in a joint statement.
“The planned restart of cruising in Canada and its resumption already underway in numerous other international markets underlines the urgent need for federal and state governments here to engage and agree to a restart plan for domestic cruising in Australia.
“Cruising is a $5 billion a year industry in Australia and supports more than 18,000 jobs. We are at the frontline of the devastation caused in Australia’s travel and tourism sector and we are looking for a signal from our political leaders that they want to help us save businesses and jobs, many of which have already been lost.”
Canada’s plans to revive cruise tourism place it alongside other destinations including the US, UK, Europe and parts of Asia where cruising has already resumed under stringent new health protocols and testing regimes.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said Canada’s announcement highlighted the lack of progress in Australia and called for a similarly detailed plan for cruising’s revival domestically.
“Like Australia, Canada has taken a very conservative and risk-averse approach to cruising, but they’ve worked hard with industry to develop a detailed pathway towards resumption and economic recovery,” Mr Katz said.
“By contrast, the Australian Government has made no progress towards establishing a framework for future cruise operations, despite the availability of comprehensive new health protocols at the international level.”
“Around 600,000 people have already sailed successfully in countries where cruising has resumed, bringing back economic opportunities for local communities while also maintaining the most stringent health measures to be found anywhere in tourism,” Mr Katz said.
With these measures in place – including 100% testing of all passengers and crew before boarding – CLIA has called for Australian governments to agree upon detailed plans for a careful domestic cruising revival. This would initially begin within an Australian bubble, involving domestic-only cruises for local residents only.
“As Canada has recognised, it will take months of careful planning to revive cruise tourism,” Mr Katz said. “We need governments to progress urgent discussions now on how we can achieve similar success when the time is right in Australia and restore economic opportunities for communities around the country.”
Do you think Australia will release a similar plan for the resumption of local cruising? Or will cruising simply be included in the PM’s fourth phase in the recently released pathway to normality, which is described as “complete back to normal”.
Let us know what you think- email [email protected].
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