JOEL Katz, Managing Director CLIA Australasia

Australasia now alone without a plan

In the past month some of the world’s largest and most important cruise regions have reopened their ports and begun careful steps towards economic recovery.

They include the US, where ships have resumed sailing to the Caribbean and Alaska with strict health protocols in place. Even Canada — one of the most cautious countries when it comes to cruising — has brought forward the end of its cruise suspension to November.

This leaves Australia and New Zealand alone in the world as the only major cruise region where governments have made no progress towards resumption.

After months of hard work by CLIA and cruise lines, our governments have still yet to commit to a detailed plan for cruising’s future.

This is devastating for travel agents and thousands of other local workers. But in recent weeks, politicians have shown they are increasingly aware of this impact and have begun acknowledging the need to move forward.

CLIA’s Ready, Set, Sail campaign has resulted in more than 40,000 emails to Australian MPs and we’re now seeing politicians publicly acknowledge the importance of planning a cruise revival.

It’s clear we’re being heard, but we need to maintain the momentum.

The latest phase of our Ready, Set, Sail campaign urges our cruise community to arrange meetings with local MPs. The aim is to put politicians in front of the very people whose lives are impacted by the cruise suspension.

We’ve created a MEET YOUR MP toolkit to help you set up and manage a meeting with you local MP. This will help reinforce the messages CLIA and cruise lines are making in our own discussions, while at the same time showing the personal side to the 18,000 people whose jobs depend on cruising.

To get involved, visit www.cruising.org.au and look for the Meet Your MP banner.