Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2021

6 6 achievement. Any cases that have arisen have been managed expertly and in a manner that mitigates spread without burden on governments, communities, or health care systems. What are your predictions for the future of the global cruise industry? Demand for cruising remains high, but we have our work cut out if we are going to meet supply expectations in the coming years. The good news is that people love to cruise, and cruisers are back to their pre-pandemic levels of enthusiasm, with 82 per cent saying that they are likely to cruise again soon. I am confident that, together with our travel trade partners, we will see cruise once again become one of the fastest growing and most attractive holiday options. What positive effects (if any) do you think the pandemic will have on the industry? I have never seen an entire community come together the way the cruise community has in the face of this pandemic. We would not have been able to overcome the devastating impacts if it were not for the resilience and support of the wider cruise community. There was truly a feeling of ‘we are in this together’. In future, CLIA will look for opportunities to keep the community banded together in this way because it is so incredibly clear that our whole is bigger than the sum of our parts. What in your opinion has been the most devastating effect of the pandemic? By far, the most devastating effect has been the impact on the people and communities who rely on this industry for their livelihoods. People in places where cruise tourism is such an important part of the local economy, and crew members who hail from over 100 countries and who support generations of family members using the incomes that they earn. The stories I have heard are simply heartbreaking, but they have also been a powerful force to propel us forward. There are several key learnings that people, businesses, organisations, communities, governments and others will benefit from for the future. The cruise industry will use that hindsight to be better and stronger. Despite the continued uncertainty, I remain optimistic about the future. Firstly, there is significant demand for cruise travel to return. Research tells us that 82 per cent of previous passengers would cruise again, a relatively small drop compared with 80 per cent in December 2019. Secondly, the resurgence of cruise travel in Europe, UK, North America and parts of Asia – albeit at a reduced capacity – can act as a roadmap for destinations where cruising has not yet restarted, like Canada. What are your priorities for the rest of 2021 and 2022? Furthering the responsible resumption of operations will continue to be the foremost priority. That said, even as CLIA and our members have worked intensely over the past 18 months, the industry has remained focused on its commitment to responsible tourism and a more sustainable future. Reducing our environmental footprint and continuing to work closely with destinations and communities to be good stewards of the places we visit are key focus areas, and I predict that we will see many more exciting developments in coming years. CFR INTERV IEW