The New Zealand Cruise Association has cancelled the 2020 Cruise Conference but has confirmed the dates for the 2021 event, which will be held in Christchurch.
The association, led by chief executive Kevin O’Sullivan, said that the decision to cancel this year’s annual event, scheduled for August 20 – 21 in Christchurch, was “in line with the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 recommendations regarding events and public gatherings and in the interests of public health in New Zealand.”
He said: “We were very much looking forward to hosting this conference as it is a highlight of our event calendar so it was a difficult decision for us to make, but ultimately the right one. We apologise for any inconvenience the cancellation of this 2020 event may cause.”
However, it has announced that the 2021 conference will be held in the Garden City for the similar dates of 19 – 20 August.
NZCA said there will be a Lyttelton port visit and welcome function on Thursday 19 August, followed by the conference day on 20th August 2021 with venues remaining the James Hay Theatre and the Avon Room at the Christchurch Town Hall.
Loren Heaphy, ChristchurchNZ general manager – Destination and Attraction, said: “While it’s disappointing to see any event cancelled, public health must come first and we fully support the decision of the New Zealand Cruise Association to cancel their 2020 conference.
“We look forward to hosting this event in Christchurch when it is safe to do so, and remain hugely supportive of the cruise industry as a key part of the reactivation of Christchurch’s visitor economy post Covid-19.”
O’Sullivan added: “Our thoughts go out to those affected around the world, and in New Zealand, by the escalation of Covid-19. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you at the 2021 conference.”
The NZ cruise industry was set for a record breaking season in 2019/2020 with ports across the country expecting 1071 port calls and 370,000 cruise passengers in the year to June, according to the NZCA. This compared with 981 port calls and 322,000 cruise ship passengers in the year to June 2019.
However in mid March all cruise ships were banned from coming to NZ until 30 June as part of the Government’s strict travel restrictions.
NZCA will issue further information regarding the conference in early 2021.
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