London - The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have expressed their support for the safe resumption of cruise ship operations following the COVID-19 pandemic. In a joint statement, the organizations also encouraged their member states and relevant national and local authorities to designate all seafarers and marine personnel within their jurisdictions as key workers providing an essential service and to remove any barriers to crew changes.
According to information from the cruise industry, about 30 million passengers cruised in 2019. Cruising generates $150 billion for the global economy every year and supports 1.2 million jobs. Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the global pandemic, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member cruise lines announced a voluntary suspension of operations worldwide, making the sector one of the first to do so.
Suspending cruise operations through July 2020 resulted in $50.24 billion in total economic loss, representing over 334,000 jobs and $14.75 billion in wages. During this time of suspension, the cruise industry has been reviewing and enhancing its protocols to determine ways to go further in the protection of the health of passengers, crew and the general public.(READ MORE)