Perth Australia AdobeStock Marcella Miriello

Cruise lines support Australian tourism recovery amid bushfire crisis

Australia’s cruise industry continues to operate at full capacity and has united with other tourism sectors in planning for the recovery of communities impacted by fires.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has confirmed all major cruise lines in the region are currently operating as scheduled and that most Australian cruise destinations are unaffected by the fires.

Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland director, said: “Cruise lines are monitoring the situation in Australia closely and if required can adjust itineraries to avoid areas affected by fire.

“The safety of guests is always paramount. Cruise lines will also consider whether itinerary changes are necessary to avoid placing pressure on regions dealing with emergencies.”

To date, five cruise itineraries have had minor adjustments to avoid ports in areas that have been impacted by fire. Of approximately 50 cruise ports in Australia, only two regional destinations have been affected, though it is expected they will be accessible again soon.

“Cruise lines have made clear they want to return to these ports as soon as possible to help support local businesses and assist in their recovery,” Harmer continued. “Tourism is vital in these parts of Australia and the passion of local communities has made them popular destinations.”  

Major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne are unaffected by fires (other than periods of smoke haze), as are most other cruise ports around Australia.

CLIA announced it is in close contact with tourism organisations to ensure a united response to the bushfire situation and in planning for the recovery of destinations hit by fires.”

He added: “As a vast country, most of Australia is open for business and welcoming visitors. Tourism Australia has provided excellent information at australia.com to keep visitors informed and give details on the large areas of the country that are open and accessible.”

Several cruise lines have provided assistance to affected communities including significant donations to recovery funds.

Joel Katz, managing director of CLIA Australasia, said: “The cruise industry joins Australians in thanking firefighters, volunteers and other emergency personnel for their dedication. We hope for a swift recovery in affected communities and our thoughts are with those who have suffered losses in these tragic events.”


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