Without any doubt one of the most impacted sector of our industry has been cruising ,which has been hit by an economic sunnami caused by COVID-19.
ITTN asked Andy Harmer from CLIA for his.,view in these challenging times.
While now is not the time to sail, people can dream where their future travels might take them. When the time is right, and the world is once again on the move, cruise travel will be here.
We know now that, tragically, COVID19 has affected every setting where people come together to socialise and enjoy shared experiences, from cruise ships and airports to restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and the like. We hope the public will feel assured that our industry has placed public health at the heart of our response throughout this global crisis.
While there will be changes following on from this unprecedented situation, what will not change is the opportunity that cruising offers to experience the world, accessibly, with more choices of activities and destinations to visit than many other forms of travel.
People who take regular cruise holidays will already be familiar with the commitment shown by cruise lines to robust hygiene standards and protocols.
As well as introducing enhanced screening measures and protocols from the outset, we were the among the first industries to voluntarily suspend our operations globally. The transparency of our reporting requirements should also be an important consideration as we rebuild trust with our customers – in fact, no other form of entertainment or travel has the reporting requirements or screening protocols in place 365 days a year.
There are several key learnings that the cruise industry will benefit from as lines prepare to sail again. While specific measures are still coming together, cruise lines are using this time to focus on ways to introduce even more stringent boarding procedures, additional onboard public health and sanitation protocols and shoreside care for guests and crew.
We are working with CLIA member cruise lines across our sector to consider new and meaningful components of future operations with a view to developing an industry restart plan; in broad terms we will look at the customer journey experience from booking to ship to address appropriate measures along the way as well as sustaining measures for ships and crew.
When society is ready, we’ll be here to welcome our guests safely back on board.