CLIA warns worst may be to come

Cruise Weekly - - Front Page -

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.”

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