After two years, it’s time for action
By Joel Katz, Managing Director, CLIA Australasia
AFTER almost two years, cruising is now the only Australian industry still subject to a Federal ban, despite our successful revival in more than 80 other countries.
Tens of thousands of new Covid-19 cases are being reported each day on land in Australia as we learn to live with the virus, yet the cruise industry is still being treated differently, even with its much higher standard of health protocols.
Since 2020, CLIA has been highlighting the enormous economic cost of the cruise ban on thousands of travel agents, suppliers and other Australian businesses.
This has been one of our core messages, conveyed through countless government meetings, presentations, television interviews and social media initiatives.
In recent weeks, Australian politicians have been shown the real faces behind this economic impact, as teams of travel agents and suppliers converged on MPs’ offices around the country. Through vigils, meetings and media interviews, our MPs have been reminded that the 18,000 Australians who rely on cruising for their livelihoods are real people and real voters.
To maintain the pressure, CLIA and cruise lines have redoubled lobbying efforts and are calling for government action.
We are calling for a phased resumption of cruising by the second quarter of 2022, as well as financial support for businesses that rely on cruising, and the removal of the Passenger Movement Charge once borders fully open.
Despite our industry’s success around the world, Australia still poses a political challenge unlike any other major market. But through the united voice established across our cruise community, we are having a real impact on the way politicians regard our industry.
As we approach two years without cruising, we need this translated into real action by governments.
Our calls are louder than ever. It’s time to open the door to cruising.