An agreement on future travel requirements for Australians will be a positive step forward for the tourism sector, but a framework must include provisions for domestic cruising in order to save thousands of Australian jobs and businesses, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said today.

Responding to today’s National Cabinet announcement on future Covid-19 measures and a phased easing of travel restrictions, CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said governments needed to include carefully managed domestic cruise operations within the early stages of their plans.

“Cruise lines globally have committed to stringent new health protocols in response to Covid-19 and these measures are already working successfully in other countries overseas,” Mr Katz said. “Australia is now the only major cruise market in the world where no progress has been made towards a responsible cruise resumption. We need urgent action from governments to save jobs and revive economic opportunities for communities around the country.”

Mr Katz said Australia’s ongoing cruise suspension had already cost the local economy an estimated $6 billion in losses and put more than 18,000 jobs in doubt.

“The cruise industry has done an enormous amount of work to lay out health protocols to underpin a responsible resumption of cruising in Australia,” Mr Katz said. “We now need governments at the state and federal levels to agree on a framework that sets out the pathway forward for cruising as part of their wider plans for travel.”