Genoa - Italian website ShipMag has consulted, in recent days, two different industry sources active on the Italian cruise market. According to both, the feeling - supported by the numbers - is that the market can fully recover by summer 2021. According to the sources, the companies are already preparing new provisions to ensure safety on board their ships "even with the emergency closed" and also "after the possible spread of the Coronavirus vaccine".
These provisions include the continuous sanitization of the ship's public areas, the daily control of the crew and passengers temperature (strictly at a distance) and the rethinking of many public spaces, starting from the buffet-areas. It cannot be excluded that many of the ships commissioned at the shipyards and not yet completed (or whose work has not yet started) are rethought based on what happened with the Covid-19 pandemic. Crowding both on land and on board will be avoided, and staff will follow specific courses on hygiene, sanitation and management of the movements of people inside the ship. It is inevitable to increase the medical presence on board the ships: a choice that will be adopted - explain the insiders - regardless of the positive evolution of the Coronavirus emergency. "The sector starts from a privileged position because over the years environments such as kitchens, bars and spaces for children have been designed to guarantee maximum safety and hygiene, under the careful surveillance of international certification subjects", explains an employee to health checks with twenty years of experience. "It will be necessary to rethink the operations that present the greatest risk factor: boarding, disembarking, queues at restaurants and buffets, crowding of lifts. But they are problems similar to those of any other tourist destination: hotels, holiday villages, ski resorts. Not to mention trains, tourist buses and planes ". In short, cruises - despite the forecasts of many observers - could be favored in the medium term compared to other destinations.
“Everything will depend on the will and speed with which the shipowners will intervene. And from the "firepower" that they will put on the market in terms of communication and marketing. Recovering from the shock will not be a trivial thing. But it won't be an impossible mission either". It will also be inevitable to re-conceive shore excursions, which represent one of the main sources of income for the companies. “But even in this case - explains the source of ShipMag - it will be sufficient to contact certified partners. Managing a few hundred people is not a titanic undertaking: just organize yourself in compliance with the rules. Sanitized minibuses and safe destinations run by professionals: this will be the mix to follow ”.