Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2020

8 1 governments paved the way for a gradual relaxation of travel restrictions during the peak summer season. Interferry was ready for the safe resumption of passenger services thanks to feedback from members enabling us to produce best practice guidelines for social distancing and enhanced sanitisation. The summer months are critical for ro- pax operators as tourist traffic sustains lower earnings during the rest of the year. That won’t be the case in the late-starting summer of 2020, but there has been a season of sorts – notably on a ‘staycation’ regionalised basis as customers realised the benefits of travelling safer and closer to home. All the same, passenger numbers are bound to be vastly reduced and operators have resigned themselves to accumulated losses of billions in revenue. By now you must be wondering what I meant by suggesting earlier that there is some (relatively) good news in all this. Fortunately, together with my own assessment, I can also cite some cautious optimism stemming from my regular conversations with industry leaders among our more than 260 members in 40 countries. Our general consensus on strategy and future prospects can be summarised as follows. Governments have acknowledged the industry’s importance during the Travellers are using ferry services from Scottish operator CalMac to enable them to enjoy staycations in their home country this summer Photo: Courtesy of CalMac Ferries “Ferries are an indispensable part of the global transport infrastructure ”