One of Australia’s top cruise agents, Clean Cruising, says 95% of its revenue has gone since COVID and implored Australian governments to stop dithering and make a call on when cruising can resume so they can have emotional and financial clarity.
Because at the moment, says Clean Cruising Director, Jean Summers-Reeves: “This is the most horrible experience that anyone can have ever imagined.”
Summer-Reeves, her brother and fellow director Dan Russell front the first in a series of four #wearecruise videos from industry association CLIA Australasia.
Jean says explains that: “This whole industry is built on passion. So it’s really hard to come through a period like this where everything is just … non-existent.
“Winding back the clock on every booking, having to get money back from every supplier for all your customers, making sure your team is motivated to go to work every day in spite of just working on refunds, it’s just been very challenging, no-one signed up for this.
“There is no joy in seeing large companies letting staff go.”
Dan says Clean Cruising income is down 95% since COVID hit.
“It is very hard to do business planning when you don’t know when the ships start again: hard for your budgeting, hard for your planning, hard for resourcing.
“Really, we just need a kick off date. From there you can plan around that.”
In a media release, CLIA Australasia Managing Director Joel Katz said cruise lines had committed to extensive new health measures to support future operations, and that it was vital to plan for a phased and carefully controlled resumption of local cruising.
“Thousands of travel agents and other businesses across Australia and New Zealand have been devasted by the suspension of cruise operations and tens of thousands of jobs are at risk,” Mr Katz said.
“While the suspension has been the right response to COVID-19, it’s absolutely vital that we open a pathway towards resumption with extensive health measures in place, so we can bring an economic revival to communities around our region.”
The other videos will focus on others businesses and sectors dependent on cruising.
• Wijingarra Tours – an Indigenous tour company catering to cruise visitors in th Kimberley region of Western Australia, which has been forced to cancel this year’s tour season.
• Hasslefree Tours – a Christchurch tour company that offers an extensive range of shore excursions for cruise visitors to New Zealand, whose operations have been suspended under current travel restrictions.
• Kollaras & Co – an Illawarra beverage wholesaler and third-generation family business whose major clients include the cruise lines that source their wines and beers locally.