Joel Katz is the local Managing Director of Cruise Lines International Association, the world’s leading trade association.
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THIS week we’re all feeling the effects of renewed attention on cruising, but years of hard work and planning mean our industry is prepared.
As we’ve seen all over the world, cruise line health protocols have shown to be effective in mitigating the risks of Covid-19 and have allowed cruise lines and health authorities to respond swiftly when cases arise.
Other countries are well ahead of us on the curve. Millions of people have sailed successfully in more than 100 other countries where ships have resumed sailing, and the effectiveness of the cruise industry’s pandemic response means more than 90% of the world fleet is back in operation.
Though we are again in the headlines in Australia, our most important message holds true – no setting is immune to Covid-19, but we have processes in place for dealing responsibly with the virus. That is exactly what is underway.
Importantly, health authorities and political leaders have shown confidence in the protocols and have spoken publicly this week about their role in the new environment we all live with, now that Covid-19 is endemic in our communities.
On land in Australia we are seeing many tens of thousands of cases each day, but we have extensive measures in place to respond to any cases identified at sea.
Our testing and vaccination requirements – together with on board measures, enhanced medical facilities and detailed response plans – are still the most extensive to be found anywhere in tourism and go much further than those you will find in most settings on land.
It has been great to hear the positive comments from so many cruise passengers still able to have the same incredible cruise experience and enjoy their holidays with confidence.
The experience overseas shows this confidence only continues to grow as cruising’s resumption progresses. I know that we have this to look forward to here in Australia.