Rebuilding cruise tourism after the Covid-19 pandemic

Jon Ingleton speaks with cruise industry leaders about what it will take to rebuild the industry

Rebuilding cruise tourism after the Covid-19 pandemic
For those in the tourism industry, there are multiple challenges to overcome

By Jon Ingleton |

“Tourism can be a platform for overcoming the pandemic. By bringing people together, tourism can promote solidarity and trust.”

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres was clear in his appraisal of the central role tourism can play in the global effort to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

But for those in the tourism industry, there are multiple challenges to overcome. As governments ease restrictions on travel, will consumer appetite recover? What impact will economic turmoil have had on holiday budgets? And how will businesses – small and large – in the cruise tourism industry equip themselves to operate successfully in a world that may well have changed for good?

Over the following pages, we find out the views of key leaders in the cruise tourism industry. CFR speaks with Gloria Guevera, CEO and president of the WTTC,  to find out how the organisation is helping to drive the recovery of the travel tourism sector, while Chiara Giorgi of Seatrade Cruise Events highlights the importance of collaboration for the successful restart of cruising.

“Travel and tourism will recover,” says Guevera. “We will come out from this crisis stronger and better, but we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to reduce the timeframe of recovery. We can do this by working together in a coordinated approach, engaging with governments and making sure that we follow the path that we have defined. By doing this we can bring back the more than 120 million jobs that have been impacted.”

Neil Walters, acting secretary-general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, explains how it is working to promote recovery in the region, while leaders from ports throughout the world share their views on how the industry is emerging from the pandemic.

“Whenever our member countries face major crises that disrupt tourism, as was the case with the most recent hurricanes, Dorian, Irma and Maria, the cruise industry has always been quick to provide assistance and to resume service to these destinations as early as possible to help with the recovery of tourism,” says Walters. “We anticipate that things will be no different in this case and they will be back as soon as they’re able to.”

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This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2020 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

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