Skal Supports Call for Resumption of Cruise Ship Operations

In a joint statement issued yesterday, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) highlight the importance of the cruise sector for the world economy.

According to UNWTO, the cruise sector supports 1.2 million jobs and contributes US$150 billion to the global economy every year. Tourism is vitally important for Small Islands States, where it sustains millions of livelihoods and brings substantial socio-economic benefits.

Since cruise operations were suspended worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has been reviewing and enhancing its protocols to identify ways to go further in protecting the health of passengers, crew and the general public.

“Skal International, with over 20% of its 14000 global membership being executives in the Cruise line Industry, supports the efforts made by all international organizations to protect the safety, health and well-being of passengers and crew, as well as the health of the population of destination port States of cruise ships,” said Peter Morrison, President of Skal International.

“After CDC’s replacement of the draconian ‘No-Sail Order’ with a framework for a phased resumption of cruise ship operations last Friday October 30th, we are pleased to support the joint statement from UNWTO and IMO inviting the governments to use the Guidance on the gradual and safe resumption of operations of cruise ships in the European Union in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic (shared by IMO in Circular Letter No 4204/Add.26) to facilitate the recovery of the sector under safe conditions, as well as three framework documents (operator framework, passenger framework and seafarer framework) developed by the United Kingdom’s Chamber of Shipping together with CLIA,” added Daniela Otero, CEO of Skal International.

According to UNWTO Data; Tourism is one of the world’s major economic sectors. It is the third-largest export category (after fuels and chemicals) and in 2019 accounted for 7% of global trade. For some countries, it can represent over 20% of their GDP and, overall, it is the third largest export sector of the global economy.

“In order to manage the social and economic fallout of the COVID-19; the governments, travel and tourism industry leaders, international associations and public safety authorities have to continue to work together in order to execute the reopening guidelines proposed by UNWTO and its collaborating global organizations. This is crucial to rebuild confidence among consumers so they can travel safely, allowing the travel and tourism economy to revive,” said Bill Rheaume, VP of Skal International and President elect for 2021.

Skål International is the world’s largest global network of Tourism Professionals promoting Tourism, Business and Friendship worldwide since 1934. Its members are Directors and Executives of the Tourism sector who relate to each other to address issues of common interest, improving a business network and promoting destinations. – BusinessNewsAsia.com