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CLIA: Cruise Sector Heading into 2021 with Optimism

The international cruise industry appears optimistic and ready to address the challenges of the new year ahead, despite the severe impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

New research reveals that despite a challenging year in 2020, two out of three cruisers are willing to cruise within a year, while 58 percent of international vacationers, who have never cruised, are likely to cruise in the next few years.

“For the cruise community, there is no denying that 2020 was not the year we anticipated. Still, the industry wasted no time adjusting course to address the challenges before us,” said CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead.

The organization recently released its 2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report highlighting the industry’s global economic impact, trend forecasts and continued commitment to responsible tourism practices and leadership.

The State of the Cruise Industry report includes the 2019 Global Economic Impact Analysis underscoring the tremendous growth of the cruise industry and the corresponding contributions to the international economy prior to the global health emergency.

In 2019, cruising sustained 1,166,000 jobs equaling 50.53 billion dollars in wages and salaries and 154.5 billion dollars total output worldwide.

The analysis also found:

– Passenger Port City Spending
Passengers spent 385 dollars in port cities before boarding a cruise and 100 dollars in each visiting port destination during a cruise.

– Global Passengers, Most Cruisers from North America
The cruise industry hosted a total of 29.7 million passengers worldwide in 2019. North America accounts for the highest rate of cruisers with 15.4 million passengers cruising in 2019.

Jobs Impact from Covid-19 Suspension
In 2020, every 1 percent loss of cruisers resulted in a reduction of 9,100 industry-related jobs. Each day of the suspension caused direct and indirect industry losses of 2,500 jobs.

Fleet of the Future: New Cruise Protocols

CLIA’s report reveals that from early July through mid-December 2020, there were more than 200 sailings with multiple layers of enhanced measures in place. The success of these initial sailings demonstrates new protocols are working as designed to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 among passengers, crew and the destinations cruise ships visit.

Some of the new protocols include crew and passenger Covid-19 testing prior to embarkation, mask wearing, physical distancing, air management and ventilation strategies as well as enhanced medical capabilities.

Looking towards the future

In 2021, CLIA Cruise Lines anticipate the debut of 19 new ocean ships. This means that a total of 270 CLIA Cruise Line ocean ships will be in operation by the end of 2021.

“As we look to 2021, I know that cruisers are eager to set sail once more, just as our industry is eager to put people back to work and create unforgettable experiences for our valued guests,” said , CLIA Chairman Adam Goldstein.

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