Cruise

Travel agents’ national day of action highlights cruise industry struggle

Travel operators picketed federal MP’s offices on Tuesday as part of their national day of action, which saw many in the cruise industry say their piece.

Ships were banned from entering Australia until 17 February by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt last month in the latest in a long line of cruising bans over the past two years.

That ban marked the twenty-third cruise cancellation announcement since the rolling cruise ban began in March 2020.

The CEO of Gold Coast-based Bob Wood Cruise Group, Jay McKenzie, said the continuous cruising bans has been crippling her business.

“If we look back to November last year we had Greg Hunt, the federal minister, saying we would have cruise ships back in Australia before Christmas,” McKenzie told the ABC.

“Unfortunately, come the middle of December they decided to extend the cruise ban until February 17.

“We have a real concern that within the next three or four weeks they’re just going to roll that ban over again.”

McKenzie said that cruising is strongly linked to many different sectors of the travel industry, particularly booking agents.

“There are companies like mine which is a destination management company,” she said.

“We look after the various ships when they come into the ports along the Queensland coast and around Australia.

“We’ve got one of the largest providers of cruise ship entertainers based here. We’ve got produce growers, wineries, tour guides and they’re all based here on the Gold Coast.



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