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Published on Thursday, August 12, 2021

CLIA: New Zealand travel restart needs strategic plan for cruise sector

Plans for a phased reopening of New Zealand's borders is a positive step forward for the tourism sector, but it is missing a strategy to resume cruising, says Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Responding to the New Zealand Government's announcement on future Covid-19 measures and a phased opening of borders, CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said New Zealand should have an agreed framework to support the resumption of local cruise operations.

It should begin initially within a domestic or trans-Tasman bubble.

"Cruise lines globally have committed to stringent new testing procedures and health protocols and these measures are already working successfully where cruising has resumed in other countries," Katz said.

"As New Zealand plans for its reopening, we need to discuss how to implement these health protocols locally so that we're ready for a careful revival of cruising."

Katz said cruising was worth around NZ$570 million a year to the New Zealand economy and supported thousands of local jobs, including in many regional locations.

"This is a vital part of the New Zealand tourism economy, so we need to partner with government and work towards its revival."

"It's not a matter of simply opening the doors - we need to agree on detailed plans for a carefully controlled resumption," he added.

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