JOEL Katz, Managing Director CLIA Australasia

Communities are key on the path to recovery

Plans for a revival of domestic tourism in Australia are a welcome step forward after the shutdowns forced by COVID-19. The thousands of tourism businesses hit hardest by travel restrictions are in many cases critical to their local communities, bringing economic opportunities and employment to the farthest corners of the country.

These businesses are also vital to other parts of the tourism economy, like cruising, which relies upon hundreds of local operators in destinations around Australia.

Although cruising remains in suspension, CLIA is firmly behind efforts to restore tourism operations on shore. These operations will be an important factor in our own recovery when the time is right.

With this in mind, CLIA has been holding industry updates to help inform stakeholders nationally on the work being done to develop a global health framework to uphold the safety of passengers, crew and the communities we visit.

Working with health experts internationally, the cruise industry is planning robust new screening protocols, expanded cleaning and sanitation practices for ships and terminals, and comprehensive measures for prevention, surveillance, and response on board.

When cruising resumes, we expect it will take place in a regional, phased-in manner. By preparing comprehensive new health protocols, we will be able to present them to governments and health authorities in Australia and New Zealand, and discuss how resumption will look.

There is still much work to be done, but when the time comes to sail again we will be able to return our support for many communities, and for the 18,000 Australian workers whose jobs are reliant on cruising.