By JOEL Katz, Managing Director CLIA Australasia
Time for a clear path to revival
As we approach the end of the year, Australia’s ports would ordinarily be alive with activity as the cruise industry celebrates its peak season.
Instead, our $5 billion-a-year industry remains at anchor and thousands of jobs are in doubt. Despite this, an extraordinary amount of work is going on behind the scenes and much has been achieved as we soldier towards revival.
Extensive new health protocols developed with the help of international medical experts are laying the foundation for a carefully controlled resumption of local cruise ship operations in Australia.
These measures — developed as part of a process to create mandatory policies for all CLIA ocean-going cruise ships worldwide — have been outlined to Australian governments in detail. Having put them on the table, CLIA is now calling on the Australian Government to replace the current ban on cruising with a conditional process that would allow cruise lines to progress towards approval for resumption.
Australia’s relative success in stemming community transmission of COVID-19 — together with the cruise industry’s robust response — creates an opportunity for a phased revival of cruise operations.
Under concepts outlined to governments by CLIA, this would initially involve restricted local cruises for local residents only, with limited passenger numbers, 100% testing of guests and crew, and extensive screening and sanitation protocols in place. Such an approach has already allowed limited resumptions in locations including Europe, Singapore and Taiwan.
We have received encouraging feedback from health authorities on the protocols our industry has established, but it is still unclear when we might be able to resume.
CLIA continues to lobby hard, but we also need help to raise our voice and support our advocacy efforts. Visit WeAreCruise.org to find out how you can become involved.