The impact of COVID-19 on the billion-dollar cruise industry

The impact of COVID-19 on the billion-dollar cruise industry
The cruise industry has grown rapidly over the last decade or so. Before COVID, data from the Cruise Lines International Association showed thirty-two million passengers expected to set sail in 2020. Three hundred ships were projected to be in operation by the end of this year, all between 50 different cruise lines.
There is no doubt that this industry has experienced exponential growth over the past decade or so.
Unfortunately, many countries across the globe have begun to close their borders in response to COVID-19. Back in March, Canada banned all ships carrying more than five hundred people from docking at their ports.
Some countries like Australia, New Zealand, and the United States banned ships arriving from foreign ports. They also directed all foreign flagged ships to leave the country.
If you watched the news a few months ago, you would know that passengers were quarantined and kept at sea for almost a month. They were required to stay in their rooms and not allowed to roam the ship freely.
With cruise lines not being able to host cruises for the past few months, the global cruise ship fleet has collectively lost over four billion dollars in value.
The longer the virus continues to persist, the cruise companies and their stakeholders will continue to lose vast amounts of money. Think about it, the main revenue channels for cruise ships are ticket sales and onboard purchases like alcoholic drinks and casino gambling.
Now, what is the future of the cruise industry? Will there be cruises happening in 2020?
It looks like most cruise companies continue to push the reopening of cruises back due to the uncertainty of the virus.
However, when cruises do reopen, there will be a number of safety precautions and extra steps taken to ensure that passengers and crew are traveling safely. Ships will now require robust screening and monitoring protocols along with comprehensive sanitation practices. There will be more onboard medical facilities and increased medical staff.
Eventually, the cruise industry will bounce back from this setback and get back to enjoying and traveling with their many valued customers.
This time is uncertain for many of us, but one thing we do know, we all want this pandemic to be over so that we can enjoy time spent with family and friends.

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