Urgent clarity needed for cruises to set sail

16 Nov 2021 |

As Australia’s summer season approaches, indications from the Federal Health Minister that the cruise industry will be permitted to set sail before Christmas are a promising sign. However, without a clear timeline to end the ban on cruise lines and a commitment to welcome cruising from State and Territory Governments there is little hope of cruises returning before the years end.

“With cruises resuming responsibly in other parts of the world, our own industry remains anchored,” Andrew McKellar, Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

“For our cruise industry to recommence operations they need a firm commitment and timetable to resume, indications are not enough.  We cannot expect the cruise industry to set sail again with so much uncertainty.

“Restarting the industry is not as simple as the Federal Government just lifting the ban.  A restart to the cruise industry takes months of planning with staffing, catering and ship storage all needing to be considered.

“The Federal Government must provide a clear timetable for ending the Biosecurity Determinations so that cruises can resume.  The COVID safe measures required for cruise ships to operate must also be outlined.

“Further, we need state and territory governments to commit to accepting cruise ship arrivals.

Prior to the pandemic, the Cruise sector contributed $5.2 billion to the Australian economy, supporting more than 18,000 jobs.

“The economic impact of cruising is significant, with the industry bringing key tourism dollars to regional and remote communities, while also benefiting the accommodation, hospitality and retail sectors,” John Hart, Executive Chair at Australian Chamber – Tourism added.

“Just as the cruise ships that have recommenced operations internationally, the Australian cruise industry is ready and willing to operate within any required COVID safe measures, they just need to know what they are so they can start to prepare.

Jack Quail

Media Officer

P  |  0498 181 207

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