Uncharted Waters

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is making clear that it fully supports the cruise industry, announcing that it has established a National Cruise Committee (NCC) that will advocate for the sector and make it clear that it should be treated no differently than other sectors of the travel industry in Canada.

Committee members – from Canadian organizations that operate in the global cruise industry — will act in an advisory capacity to identify cruise industry issues and provide regular updates and recommendations to TIAC’s Recovery Committee.

They will represent all regions of Canada impacted by cruise – Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Northern Canada.

Commenting on the addition of the cruise sector to TIAC’s advocacy efforts, the association’s president and CEO, Beth Potter said that: “The tourism economy is comprised of a suite of sectors, and the cruise sector is an important piece, responsible for 30,000 direct jobs in Canada.”

Danielle Timmons, TIAC National Cruise Committee chair, didn’t mince words pointing out that the cruise sector is “part of the tourism industry that is effectively in ‘lockdown’ until Spring of 2022 due to the federal ban on cruise until February 28, 2022.”

Timmons continued: “As other parts of the country and industry may start to see some recovery in summer 2021, we won’t have the ability to make any movement.”

The NCC chair explained that: “This committee will allow for coordinated advocacy for this sector,” observing that: “This is a pivotal time to be launching – the committee is in full support of TIAC’s recent campaign launch on opening the U.S. Canada border – we hope to bring awareness, education and support for the cruise supply chain businesses that are still in lockdown.”

Certainly, there’s no lack of support, with the NCC noting that already it has a stakeholder list of more than 300 names.

The Canadian Cruise Supply Chain of companies contributes $4.3 billion to Canada’s economy annually. With the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act (ATRA) recently signed into law, and cruising resuming safely in other regions of the world, it is imperative that Canada gives clarity and assurance to both American cruise partners, and the millions of Canadians whose livelihoods depend on cruise.

Said Timmons: “Awareness, education and advocacy for support and funding is needed for the Cruise Supply Chain businesses to ensure that we have continued operations, to ensure a successful cruise industry return, and readiness of the Cruise Supply Chain for 2022.”

As Potter sees it: “The Canadian Cruise Supply Chain has been put in a unique situation and while we hope to see recovery for most of the industry underway this summer, we must also prioritize movement on Cruise specific tourism recovery support.”

As for the message the NCC wants to send. Well, it will be clear and it will be straightforward … the sector is ready to safely welcome ships back, and it has confidence that in restarting their businesses, its cruise line partners will follow the necessary protocols to keep their guests, crew, and the communities they visit safe.