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WITH the theme of “passage to recovery” the Australian cruise industry will come together for its annual conference from 8-10 September in Townsville.

The conference, organised by the Australian Cruise Association, will also include the industry association’s annual general meeting.

Keynote speakers include Gavin Smith (Royal Caribbean International), Sture Myrmell (Carnival Australia), Stuart Allison (Princess Cruises), Adele Labine-Romain (Deloitte Access Economics) and Dr Ian Norton (Respond Global).

Scheduled for one week before international boarder are scheduled to be re-opened, the ACA believes the conference will take place at a “critical juncture”.

CEO of the ACA, Jill Abel said, “There has never been a more challenging time for the cruise industry, globally and within Australia.

“It is essential that we all come together in September to develop a clear roadmap of recovery for the cruise sector.”

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Cancelled in 2020 due to COVID lock-down restrictions, the conference will provide a welcome opportunity for attendees to re-group in person, network with their peers and hear from a range of experts with both domestic and international knowledge.

The final day of the conference will be spent on Magnetic Island at Peppers Blue Resort with a motivational breakfast followed by the AGM and members’ workshops.

“We have held our conference in regional destinations for the last three years,” said Ms Abel.

“This year, more than ever, we are delighted to recognise the important role these destinations play in the cruise industry and support local businesses through this event.”

Prior to COVID, Queensland’s cruise industry was worth $1.1bn to the state’s economy with around 16 cruise ships visiting Townsville each season.

Recognising the importance of this opportunity to bring together key stakeholders in the industry to develop the roadmap for a cruise re-start, ACA has highly subsidised the registration fees for the conference.

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