A welcome breakthrough for cruising
By Joel Katz, Managing Director, CLIA Australasia
IT HAS taken more than 18 months of persistent and often frustrating work with state and federal governments, but the Australian cruise industry is now seeing clear signs of progress as we strive for cruising’s revival in our region.
Last month’s National Cabinet announcement that the major eastern states will work with the Commonwealth and with our industry to facilitate a return to cruising is a significant breakthrough, and the cruise industry is now busy seizing this opportunity.
In recent days we have had positive discussions with the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet who has taken the lead role in pushing for a cruise revival. We’ve also met with other key leaders, health authorities and other government officials from the eastern states, Northern Territory and Canberra.
Though there is still a way to go before detailed plans for cruising’s revival are finalised, we can now see a clear political will to achieve results and we are hopeful the most recent extension of Australia’s cruise ban will be the last.
There’s no doubt the phenomenal efforts of travel agents, suppliers and other cruise supporters over recent months has been a major factor in gaining greater traction with governments. As a result of the vigils, meetings and media interviews many agents have held, our leaders can now see what it means to have more than 18,000 people cut off from their livelihoods, at a time when other nations have already shown how to achieve a responsible resumption of cruising.
Around the world, wherever cruise lines have successfully returned to operations, this has come through close partnerships between government and the cruise community. We’re grateful for the passionate backing we have from our cruise community in Australia, and we’re looking forward to having closer cooperation with our governments on the road ahead.