Cruise visit heralds Kangaroo Island recovery
Australia’s cruise industry is celebrating its return to the bushfire-affected communities of Kangaroo Island after today’s arrival of Sun Princess at the island port of Penneshaw.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said the ship’s visit was a major milestone on the island’s path to economic recovery and sent an important message to the outside world.
“Today’s visit by Sun Princess demonstrates the resilience of the Kangaroo Island community and helps show that Australia is open for business and ready to welcome visitors from across the globe,” Mr Katz said. “The island’s tourism businesses have shown great determination in preparing to welcome cruise visitors and our industry is grateful for their support and commitment.”
Cruise tourism on the South Australian island has grown significantly in recent years, having increased from three ship visits in 2012 to a schedule of 26 ship visits over the current summer season. Cruise vessels scheduled to visit Kangaroo Island in 2019-2020 have a combined capacity of more than 54,000 passengers and crew, whose spending provides vital economic benefits to the local community.
“Nationally, cruise tourism is worth more than $5 billion a year to the Australian economy and will play an important role in supporting local communities as they recover from this summer’s fires,” Mr Katz said. “The arrival of Sun Princess in Penneshaw not only symbolises the start of Kangaroo Island’s path to recovery, it also represents our national efforts to revive communities and support businesses throughout the visitor economy.”
CLIA has also welcomed an initial $76 million tourism recovery package announced today as part of the Australian Government’s National Bushfire Recovery Fund.
“This funding will provide vital support for the Australian tourism sector as it works towards recovery, particularly for the small businesses and local operators our industry relies upon,” Mr Katz said. “It will help us to reach audiences around the world as we spread the word that Australia is open, accessible and ready to offer extraordinary experiences for travellers.”
CLIA has confirmed that all major cruise lines in Australia are currently operating as scheduled and continue to visit ports around the country as planned.