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Joel Katz said the Australian tourism sector is working toward recovery

Princess call at Kangaroo Island after bushfires hailed as milestone

Following the catastrophic bushfires that raged on Kangaroo Island earlier this month, Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess made ‘a major milestone’ visit on Sunday.

‘Open for business’

Cruise Lines International Association Australasia and Asia MD Joel Katz said the ship’s visit will send an important message to the outside world — that Australia is open for business.

All major cruise lines back on schedule

Katz also confirmed that all major cruise lines in Australia are currently operating as scheduled and continue to visit ports around the country as planned.

As reported here, on January 4 Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ Vasco da Gama anchored off Kangaroo Island on standby to offer evacuation assistance. However, the South Australian Country Fire Service and Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure advised the company that SeaLink ferries were available to do the job.

‘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,’ Katz said.

‘The arrival of Sun Princess not only symbolises the start of Kangaroo Island’s path to recovery, it also represents our national efforts to revive communities and support businesses.'

Cruise tourism on the South Australian island has grown from three ship visits in 2012 to a scheduled 26 cruise ship visits during the current summer season, with a combined capacity of more than 54,000 passengers and crew.

Tourism recovery package

Katz also welcomed an initial A$76m tourism recovery package announced Sunday as part of the Australian government’s National Bushfire Recovery Fund.

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