Cruise

“A devastating blow”: cruise industry reacts to Australia’s extended ban

The human biosecurity period has been extended for two months and with it, Australia’s cruise ban.

The arrangements, which have been in place since 18 March 2020, require Australians to undertake testing and mask-wearing for international flights, restrict travel to high-risk countries, restrict travel for unvaccinated people and bar the entry of cruise vessels within Australian territory.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said last month that he expected the cruise ban to be lifted before Christmas, however, the restrictions will now remain in place until at least 17 February 2022.

However, announcing the extension on Friday, Hunt said the cruise aspects of the order will be reviewed monthly.

“Continuation of these arrangement will allow the important measures currently in place to continue as the Government continues to reopen Australia and act decisively to respond to the emergence of the Omicron variant,” Hunt said.

“The government continues to work constructively with the cruise ship industry, with whom we remain actively engaged alongside state and territory governments to enable a phased resumption of cruising in Australia on the basis of medical advice.

“As part of this work, the government will continually review, on a monthly basis, whether the current restrictions on cruise ships can be safely lifted or amended.”

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) managing director for Australasia Joel Katz said the extension was “a devastating blow” for thousands of workers.

“The suspension of cruising has been devastating for the 18,000 Australians who depend on cruise tourism, including travel agents, tour operators, food and produce providers, entertainers, port workers and many other industry suppliers,” Katz said.

“In other countries close to five million people have already sailed successfully under the cruise industry’s extensive new health protocols. We need federal and state governments to use the coming weeks for genuine discussions with the cruise industry so we can plan a similar revival in Australia.”

Dan Russell, general manager of the Brisbane-based and family-owned Clean Cruising, said those affected by the rolling ban were beyond furious and regarded the failure to address a resumption plan as a form of slow torture for businesses that are treading water and trying to save their remaining staff.

“Optimism had been growing that the federal government was preparing to lift its biosecurity ban on international cruise ships but these hopes were dashed with the announcement of the extended ban to February 17,” Russell said.

“On this basis, no one can now reasonably expect any cruise ship to be back in Australia in the first half of 2022 or even later.

“The frustration of travel agents and others that are affected is that after more than 20 months federal and state authorities have made no genuine attempt to set the guidelines for the resumption of cruising.

“We now know that it is not even enough for Canberra to step out of the way. It is then up to the states to allow cruise ships to enter their ports.

“Canberra must not only engage itself but also push the states along to achieve a restart. We need a cruise restart plan now or thousands more jobs and small businesses will be lost.”


Featured image: Carnival Spirit leaving Sydney Harbour (iStock/moisseyev)



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

Skip the rebound surge with South America

For clients eager to travel overseas again but wanting to avoid the summer disruptions, leave Greece or California for another time and head to South America.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Events

Top 12 unmissable events for Italian summer trips

Summer in Italy means sunshine, gelato, promenading after dinner, Aperols overlooking the ocean, hiking, cycling…and a jam-packed events calendar.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airport queues return in anticipation of the school holidays

If you were looking for a good chance to relisten to Led Zeppelin’s entire discography but can’t find the time, we recommend booking a flight to literally anywhere from Sydney or Melbourne airport this month.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Queensland government mulls tourism tax

In response to this, the NSW government will be introducing an ice-cream tax, which has infuriated primary school kids across the state.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Africa drops all remaining COVID restrictions

Meanwhile, we’ve decided to keep mask-wearing optional in Travel Weekly’s office, mainly to protect us against the office dogs’ various… smells.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA and CLIA bring back NTIA and the port & destination showcase

Polish your dancing shoes because it’s industry events galore as the two peak bodies reveal the return of two much sought-after happenings.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Breaking News

Jetstar CEO to step down as Qantas promises $5,000 boost to employees and more domestic capacity cuts

It’s a day of mixed emotions for Qantas and Jetstar staff today, with bouts of cheering and sobbing breaking out at an alarming rate.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Save the date! Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania announces dates for ‘Aloha Down Under’ roadshow 2022   

by sponsored by Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania

Get your diaries out because Australia and New Zealand’s biggest annual Hawai‘i Roadshow, Aloha Down Under, is on from the 22nd to 29th August 2022. 

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott launch home rental collection for ANZ

Marriott has launched its new home-rental collection while the Travel Weekly staff have decided to launch a Pokémon cards collection. It’s not quite as significant but at least it’s something.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Avis launches high-end car rental brand for luxe travellers

Got any clients looking to indulge in their midlife crisis without going the whole hog? We’ve got good news.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

TravelManagers announce speakers for national conference

We heard that the muppets will be there, but we have been watching a lot of Sesame Street lately so we could be getting confused.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“I thought I was going to die”: Passenger plane catches fire on runway

Don’t worry, the photo shows a white chemical foam used to put out the fire, not a random snowfall confined to a 30-metre area in Miami as you may assume from a first glance.

Share

CommentComments