This is according to the annual Economic Impact Assessment commissioned by the Australian Cruise Association and Cruise Lines International Association Australasia.
A further A$3bn at risk
CLIA Australasia MD Joel Katz said another A$3bn is at risk across the economy if the cruise suspension continues into 2021.
‘It is no secret the sector has been devastated by COVID-19, but the impact is also being felt by the many thousands of small businesses, especially in regional communities that rely on a thriving cruise industry,’ he said.
‘These include travel agents, fresh food suppliers, tour operators, hotels, bus companies, baggage handlers, Aussie entertainers and the thousands of other businesses across the country which rely on the cruise industry.’
Australian Cruise Association CEO Jill Abel said the 2019-20 report, conducted by AEC Group Ltd, research consultants operating in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific, highlights the impact of lost visitation from the more than 1,000 cruise ship visits made around Australia each year.
Abel said some of these ports and destinations are ‘crying out’ for more visitors to support their economic recovery.
‘More than 2.9 million passenger visit days were recorded to 42 different ports around Australia during the 2019-20 summer cruise season, bringing economic benefit to some of the furthest regions of the country,’ she said.
‘Passenger spending in destinations around Australia alone totals more than A$1.1bn, while cruise lines spend more than A$1bn in Australia over a year.’
The release of the Economic Impact Assessment coincides with a call to the Australian government to replace the cruise ship ban with a conditional process that would allow a carefully managed resumption of cruising in 2021.