A group of cruise industry suppliers expressed bitter disappointment that another month has passed without any progress on ending the current cruise ban.
The group includes Dan Russell from Clean Cruising; Graeme Blackman from Inter-Marine Pty Ltd; Graeme Gillies from Grayboy Entertainment; Steven Biviano from Select Fresh Providores; and Jay McKenzie from Bob Wood Cruise Group.
When the federal government extended the cruise ban by a further two months to 17 February, it promised to review the ban on a month-to-month basis.
However, the supplier group said it was obvious that the government had no intention of lifting the cruise ban or having a serious discussion with the industry about a pathway back.
“It is increasingly frustrating that the government is not listening to the industry or what we have been saying as suppliers with businesses that depend on cruising,” the supplier group said.
“We are not talking about cruise ships returning to Australia next week or next month. It will be months before cruising can resume.
“What we are looking for is some certainty so that our businesses can hang on until cruise operations resume in Australia.
“As a group, we are bitterly disappointed that there has been no progress towards the resumption of such an important part of the tourism economy.
“This is particularly disappointing with overseas experience already confirming that cruise ships can operate safely in a well-managed covid environment.
“So much so that the CDC in the US has lifted its formal health orders on cruise lines to allow them to transition to a voluntary system,” the supplier group said.
The Australian cruise industry was devastated by the extension to the ban announced last year.
P&O were quite critical of the extended pause which cancelled cruises scheduled to depart from 3 March 2022 until 16 April 2022 from Sydney and Brisbane.
It marked the twenty-third cruise cancellation announcement since P&O Cruises Australia’s rolling pause began in March 2020 in response to the pandemic.
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