The cruise industry catches up after the pandemic
The Seatrade Cruise Global conference, the main world event for the cruise industry, begins next Monday at the Miami Beach Convention Center with participants and exhibitors from 140 countries and in an optimistic environment for the first time since it broke out in 2020 the pandemic.
The central point of this four-day conference is the so-called “State of the Industry” , a panel that will take place on Tuesday, April 26 to present the current situation of the sector and reveal the perspectives for the future, but the program is extensive and varied.
The Seatrade Cruise Global will be the first face-to-face update of a sector of global importance, which in 2019, before the pandemic debacle, employed 1.2 million people and contributed 155,000 million dollars to the world economy .
The conference will also serve to analyze the lessons learned during the “desert crossing” , especially in terms of health security, and learn about the technological and other innovations that have emerged in recent years.
CLIA, which encompasses the vast majority of companies that carry out transoceanic cruises, estimates that by the end of July or the beginning of August 2022, 100 of 100 of its partners will have managed to normalize their activity.
MOVING BACK THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC
The cruise sector was one of the most affected by the movement restrictions that the covid-19 pandemic forced to take around the world, as clearly shown by the figures for 2020 published by CLIA, which has not yet released those of 2021.
The number of passengers embarked worldwide was 5.8 million that year, 81% less than in 2019, the jobs supported in the sector totaled 576,000 (-51%) and the contribution of cruises to the economy worldwide was 63.4 billion dollars (-59%).
Significantly, the first panel of the conference will be dedicated to “resilience”, a key word in this event, the second to the novelties in the map of global destinations for cruises and the third to new products and technology for cruise ports.
The conference includes a fair with some 700 exhibitors, presenting their novelties in interior design, entertainment, environment and health, accommodation, information technology, ports and destinations, safety and security, equipment and shipbuilding.
But there are not only companies in this huge fair, but also governments, port authorities and tourism promotion institutions from countries, regions and even port-cities.
Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Spain, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay are among the countries institutionally represented at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
The Spanish State Ports Public Body will have a 418-square-meter pavilion to display the offer of the ports of A Coruña, Alicante, Almería, Bahía de Algeciras, Bahía de Cádiz, Baleares, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cartagena, Ceuta, Ferrol , Huelva, Malaga, Melilla, Motril, Santander, Seville, Tarragona, Valencia and Vigo.
In addition, the Port Authorities of Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife will also be present at the Cruises Atlantic Island stand, and a large group of local institutions and service companies.
Among the many members of governments and public organizations that will attend this fair to promote their countries as tourist destinations are Verónica Kunze Neubauer, Undersecretary of Tourism of Chile, and her namesake from Uruguay, Remo Monzeglio.
The big news for the sector so far this year was the decision announced on March 30 by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the total withdrawal of warnings to citizens about the risk of contracting covid -19 aboard cruise ships.
In 2020, the CDC issued an order prohibiting cruise ships departing from US ports to sail, which was in force for 15 months and had a huge impact on the Caribbean and Latin American countries and resulted in millionaire losses for the companies.