JOEL Katz, Managing Director CLIA Australasia

Positive signs but action is needed

Recent weeks have brought further positive acknowledgement from political leaders that Australia needs to prepare for a cruising revival in our region, another sign that our industry’s calls are being heard.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan have all spoken publicly about the need to plan a careful resumption of cruising in local waters, particularly as targets for reopening international borders move closer.

“It doesn’t make sense when we open our international borders for people to fly overseas to go cruising without being able to do so here,” Mr Perrottet said in an online forum hosted by the Daily Telegraph. “I’ll work closely with the Federal Government to ensure that as part of our plan to reopen borders, cruising can steam ahead alongside all aspects of the tourism industry.”

These and other remarks show that our industry’s efforts to change the political conversation around cruising are gaining traction.

Alongside the lobbying efforts of CLIA and cruise lines, our Ready, Set, Sail campaign has resulted in around 50,000 emails being sent from travel agents and other supporters to Australian politicians — each one a demonstration of the personal impact of the cruise suspension on thousands of local jobs.

Though we’re encouraged by the public comments politicians are making, we need to see this translated into firm action. We need to keep the pressure on and achieve more detailed discussions about a pathway to resumption.

As CLIA and cruise lines continue to lobby directly and maintain a presence in Australian media, we’re urging our supporters to send a new message to politicians – this time highlighting our industry’s proposals for a careful, phased resumption of cruising as vaccination rates rise and travel restrictions ease. Please visit www.ReadySetSail.com.au and send a new message to leaders.