Cruise

“Not asking for special treatment”: CLIA slams government’s cruise ban extension

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is urging the Australian government to take “real steps” towards a plan for the resumption of cruising, after the Health Minister extended travel restrictions for a further three months.

The association’s regional managing director, Joel Katz, has warned that the government’s lack of planning for the future of Australia’s cruise industry was causing lasting damage to the economy.

“Our industry needs some certainty, but after months of discussions with government, the suspension has been extended again without any clear route from government towards a careful and responsible resumption of cruising,” he said.

“The cruise industry has done an enormous amount of work to implement extensive new health protocols globally, but Australia is now the only major cruise destination in the world where there is no progress towards their adoption.”

On Thursday, Health Minister Greg Hunt extended the human biosecurity emergency period under the Biosecurity Act 2015 for a further three months, with its new potential end date falling on 17 September.

The emergency period, which has been in place since 18 March 2020, restricts the entry of cruise vessels within Australian territory as well as both outbound and inbound international travel.

Other emergency determinations include mandatory pre-departure testing and mask-wearing for international flights and restrictions on trade for retail outlets at international airports.

“The cruise industry is not asking for special treatment or to simply reopen the doors to cruising,” Katz said.

“Our industry has been working in good faith with the government for more than a year, and we’ve presented some of the most stringent COVID-19 measures to be found anywhere in tourism, developed with the support of medical experts, and we need governments to take the next steps forward.”

According to CLIA, the suspension of cruising is estimated to have cost the Australian economy up to $6 billion since March 2020 and threatens thousands of local businesses including travel agents, tour operators, farmers and food suppliers, transport providers and technical support providers.

“Our industry’s new health measures are already in place and working successfully in other countries where cruising has resumed,” Katz said.

“It’s now time to break the cycle of inaction in Australia and finalise the pathway forward.”

Meanwhile, Tom Manwaring, chair of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), said that while the extension is not unexpected, it reinforces the need for wider, ongoing support for travel agents and businesses.

“The decision to extend the international travel ban is not that much of a surprise, especially given the low COVID-vaccination take-up in Australia,” he said.

“We look forward to the ongoing adoption of common-sense, positive measures to get Australians travelling again, including the impending introduction of more safe travel zones with selected ‘green’ destinations.”

Manwaring said there needs to be more encouragement for Aussies to get vaccinated, and that the industry needs greater clarity on what factors will trigger the government to re-open our international border.

“Most of all we need ongoing support for Australia’s travel agents and businesses who are performing such important work in supporting customers, and whose skill and expertise will be so heavily relied on as Australians start travelling again given the complexities of COVID-travel,” he said.

Hunt said the government will continue to consult with the states and territories and the maritime industry on options for the staged resumption of cruising when the medical advice is that it is safe to do so.


Featured image source: iStock/kokkai



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Hotels

TAA appoints new board member

It’s a good things that travel is an interesting industry otherwise they’d be appointing a new ‘bored’ member.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

New data suggests China Eastern nosedive may have been intentional

Investigations into a tragic plane crash that killed 132 people earlier this year have revealed that it was likely not due to technical fault.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Luxury Escapes partners with the Travel Corporation

Similarly, Travel Weekly is trying to form a partnership with the cafe downstairs, which they correctly recognised as another attempt to get free coffee and shut down immediately.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas teams up with Zip for buy now pay later flights

Looking for new and exciting ways to financially cripple the millennial and Gen Z market? This one from our national carrier takes the cake.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

AGENT GUIDE: How to give your clients the best possible South America experience

by Sponsored by Chimu Adventures

From the snowcapped Andes and the Amazon rainforest to the culture clad streets of Buenos Aires and Rio, South America is a treasure trove of rich experiences not to be missed.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cunard reports biggest booking day in a decade

The rumours are that many Cunard employees went home that day with a big sack with a dollar sign on it after a massive day on the job.

Share

CommentComments

News

Travel just got easier: No more pre-departure tests for New Caledonia, Tahiti, Indonesia

What would make travel really easy for us is if a nice company out there would like to send a Travel Weekly reporter on a nice trip overseas (wink, wink, nudge, nudge @anyone please).

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Dream Cruises ship resurrected for new cruise brand

Don’t just sit around dreaming of cruises, hop on this revived Dream Cruises ship for your first getaway in two years.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Collette wraps up its first travel forum in two years

The tour operator hosted top sellers, partners, key travel players and media friends (that’s us!) for poolside shenanigans in sunny Cairns.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“Travel is the great educator”: Collette CEO Dan Sullivan on why we need travel now more than ever

We spent the past few days sipping mojitos by the pool in Cairns… Oh, and attending Collette’s travel forum! Here’s proof we were listening.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“It’s our shout”: Flight Centre is giving away free holidays!

The travel giant is giving away 40 holidays to celebrate its 40th Birthday! Nobody tell them that it’s usually the other way around…

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

QT Newcastle signature restaurant and bar revealed!

It might seem like we’re calling Newcastle a ‘cutie’ but rest assured, our cutest NSW city award still goes to Griffith.

Share

CommentComments