Kevin O'Sullivan, NZCA and Joel Katz, CLIA Kevin O'Sullivan, NZCA and Joel Katz, CLIA

Call to support cruise industry

The New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA) has called for the cruise industry to share stories about why cruise is important.

‘Talk to anybody and everybody using whatever media, social media outlet you are comfortable with,’ says CEO Kevin O’Sullivan. ‘The cruise industry in New Zealand will recover, but it needs your help.’

This comes as the association this week announced the postponement of its 2020 conference to 19-20 August 2021 in Christchurch.

NZCA will be actively involved with government in the planning process for tourism and cruise recovery and says any potential domestic and trans-Tasman tourism ‘should and must include cruise.’

‘The current Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation impacting all aspects of tourism, and daily life,’ says O’Sullivan. ‘We know that cruise ships, by their very nature, are social environments. But blaming cruise ships must stop, cruise is not the source, cruise is indicative of any other social environment.'

With cruising generating $570 million to the New Zealand economy last season (2018-19), regions such as Tasman/Nelson and Southland recorded a whopping 95% and 83% increase in spend over the 2017-18 year to $1.3m and $15m (respectively). Bay of Plenty was up 35% to $90m, Auckland up 32% to $193m, Northland up 30% to $21m and Otago was up 25% to $60m.

‘Our entire industry will have to make significant changes in operations in order to move forward and be successful in a Covid-19 world. CLIA and the cruise lines are working together, alongside relevant health authorities, to create these new protocols.

‘The cruise industry won’t re-start until it is safe to do so.

It will be a gradual recovery once we open our borders to international visitors, with systems in place to deal with Covid-19 risk.’

New health framework for cruising 

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and its cruise line members have begun creating a new health framework to uphold the safety of guests and prepare for future operations in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

CLIA managing director Australasia Joel Katz says the industry is working with medical experts and health authorities internationally to lay a new foundation for the cruise sector as it prepares for long term recovery.

‘We are using this time to define the new landscape we will work within and make sure we’re ready when the time comes to sail again,’ Katz says. 

Katz adds that maritime policy work underway within CLIA will define the specific screening, cleansing and medical protocols that cruise lines will adopt globally, in addition to those already in place. 

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