CLIA warns worst may be to come
CRUISE Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has flagged job losses could reach 13,000 if Australia’s cruise suspension (CW 25 May) continues beyond its current projected date of 17 Sep, and into the peak summer season (CW breaking news).
Research commissioned by the trade association has shown the suspension is also likely to cost Australia more than $1.4 billion in lost economic activity by mid-Sep, which could balloon out a further $3.8 billion if the suspension continues.
The study, conducted by analysts AEC Group, shows the shutdown has already resulted in an economic loss of almost $500 million to the end of May, which would have cost almost 1,700 Australian jobs in the absence of the government’s JobKeeper program.
CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz (pictured) said the Association had backed calls for the JobKeeper scheme to be extended for travel agents and others in the travel industry.
“Cruise tourism is worth $5.2 billion a year to the Australia economy and supports more than 18,000 jobs,” Katz said.
“The suspensions that cruise lines and governments have enacted worldwide have been the right response as we confront COVID-19, but there is an enormous cost to those who make up the wider cruise community.
“There are many thousands of agents, tour operators, ports and destinations, technical support providers, and food and beverage suppliers who support the cruise industry and are suffering enormous financial stress.”
Katz added cruise lines were working hard to develop extensive measures to uphold the health and safety of passengers and crew when the time is right to resume sailing (CW 21 Apr).
“The cruise industry is taking a wide-ranging and holistic approach to planning for COVID safety when sailing can resume.”