The tourism industry has been one of the most impacted industries due to the Coronavirus. In a recent report, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimated that international tourism will fall by around 80% in 2020. Most recently cruise lines have taken strides to brave the waves of COVID-19 as many have announced an intention to set sail in the upcoming months.
On December 1, 2020, Royal Caribbean International's (RCI) Quantum of the Seas was recorded as the line's first vessel to set sail in nine months since the pandemic. Quantum of the Seas, a Quantum-class cruise ship is the lead ship of her class with a capacity to accommodate more than 4000 passengers and 1500 crew members. As part of health precautions due to the pandemic, RCI has established the following; a reduced guest capacity to no more than 50% occupancy, an improved cleaning regimen, upgraded medical facilities, and every passenger and crew member is required to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding.
AIDA Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line have also indicated their intent to set sail whilst adhering to established health and safety protocols.
“If tourism brings us together, then travel restrictions keep us apart. More importantly, restrictions on travel also prevent tourism from delivering on its potential to build a better future for all.”
United Nation’s World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili during the launch of the Policy Brief “COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism. Perhaps these strides are on the way to rebuilding this sector.