International cruises are expected to be off limits for “some time,” as question marks loom over domestic cruise travel, which is worth a staggering $ 5 billion to the Australian economy.
The coronavirus has the potential to spread rampant on cruise ships, and Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said that the high-risk nature of ships is the reason the industry is still frozen.
“Sailing is difficult,” Birmingham told Today this morning.
Cruise ships were known for massive outbreaks of coronavirus when the pandemic broke out.
Thousands of vacation rooms were turned into quarantine cells, as thousands of travelers were confined to their cabins when nations refused to allow infected ships to dock earlier this year.
Birmingham said cruise companies have “a lot of work to do” to convince health authorities to allow them to operate again, as well as to restore “public confidence.”
“We certainly won’t see international cruises for some time, but if some of the domestic elements can get back on board, we’ll see how it builds up.”
Not only does the cruise ban affect travelers, it affects many Australian companies that depend on the industry, which supports the jobs of 25,000 people in the country.
Business owners fear a new wave of job losses as the sector is paralyzed in what would normally be peak season.
Queensland’s tourism industry to revive
The Trade Minister said New South Wales and Victoria were collectively worth $ 8 billion to Queensland’s tourism industry.
Birmingham urged tourists to book tours and experiences, rather than just flights and accommodation.
“There are thousands of small businesses, tens of thousands of jobs that are potentially desperately dependent on returning visitors,” he said.
“So please book, make your plans and go out there and support them.”
There is also hope that New Zealanders will be allowed to travel to Australia and return home without needing to self-quarantine, helping to revive the country’s economy.
“We welcome them, but they cannot go home without facing quarantine and that means it is not feasible to come for a short vacation,” Birmingham said.
“We hope we can make that breakthrough soon and build on it with other countries.”