CLIA has expressed concern after the government extended the ban on international cruise ships for another three months, pushing the potential restart date out to 17 September 2021.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) says it’s concerned at the lack of progress on a cruise resumption in Australia and today called on the Federal Government to “end to inaction” and take real steps towards establishing a plan for future cruise operations, after Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed that the human biosecurity emergency period would be extended for another three months, until September 17, 2021.
CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz has warned the government’s lack of a plan for the future is causing lasting damage to the economy and putting 18,000 Australian jobs in doubt.
“Our industry needs some certainty, but after months of discussions with government, the suspension has been extended again without any clear route from government towards a careful and responsible resumption of cruising,” Mr Katz said.
“The cruise industry is not asking for special treatment or to simply reopen the doors to cruising,” Mr Katz said.
“Our industry has been working in good faith with the government for more than a year, and we’ve presented some of the most stringent COVID-19 measures to be found anywhere in tourism, developed with the support of medical experts, and we need governments to take the next steps forward.”
CLIA states the suspension of cruising is estimated to have cost the Australian economy up to $6 billion since March 2020 and threatens thousands of local businesses including travel agents, tour operators, farmers and food suppliers, transport providers and technical support providers.
“Our industry’s new health measures are already in place and working successfully in other countries where cruising has resumed,” Mr Katz said.
“It’s now time to break the cycle of inaction in Australia and finalise the pathway forward.”
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