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AHEAD of an expected 2022 cruise re-start, the Australian Cruise Association (ACA), in conjunction with CLIA Australasia and supported by Tourism Australia, is holding a series of workshops in key cities around the country.

Launching in Queensland this week, the half-day sessions are designed to help the tourism industry prepare for the carefully managed, responsible, and long-awaited arrival of cruise ships, crew and passengers back into our ports and communities.

Jill Abel, CEO of the Australian Cruise Association said, “With positive commentary coming from federal and state governments around welcoming cruise ships back to Australia, we believe it is the right time to hold these discussions with industry to start building a planning framework to support a successful resumption.

“We are fortunate to have successful models to draw from with regard to the strict health protocols being followed internationally given around 70% of the CLIA fleet is now operating in 82 countries, which translates to approximately 2500 sailings since July 2020, carrying almost 4 million passengers,” she said.

State and regional tourism, port authority and cruise line representatives will also present at each of the workshops and will be on hand to take questions from local industry representatives.

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“The past two years have been a huge challenge for the cruise industry which pre-pandemic contributed around 18,000 jobs and over $5 billion to the economy,” Ms Abel said.

“We know that once the green light has been given by government for a re-start that it will still be at least 60-90 days before cruise ships begin arriving back into our local waters in a phased manner.

“It is our hope that these workshops will play a critical role in helping operators plan for an effective re-start” concluded Abel.

Following a kick-off in Cairns this week, the roadshow will continue to Townsville, Airlie Beach, Gladstone and Brisbane.

Sessions will roll out in other states and territories as borders re-open and positive discussions continue with state governments.

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