Travel expert says no need to worry too much about coronavirus’ impact on the cruise industry
Regardless of the novel coronavirus outbreak and quarantined cruise ships news, many cruisers and vacationers are still confidently and happily heading out on cruise vacations. Stewart Chiron, a travel expert which is popularly known as The Cruise Guy just returned from Regal Princess cruise as he celebrates there a momentous Valentine’s Day. He said that people are indeed confident about cruising as they greatly understand that the on-going issue is in Southeast Asia and its far different from what is going on cruises like in the Caribbean.
The global tourism takes a major hit as the novel coronavirus halts Chinese travelers but still, cruise line companies are doing their best to protect the ship, its passengers and crews and ensure the safety of all. There’s also a new procedure adapted like the gloved crews serving food instead of guest independently accessing a buffet line. Also, there are more elevated security measures wherein cruise lines will not allow passengers on board if they were in China or even in its special administrative regions namely Hong Kong and Macau. Several medical screenings are also taking place. There’s an assigned personnel in-charge in checking passengers’ temperature. If signs were seen, like if you’re sweating or look ill, you may be asked for secondary medical checking.
The medical team is readily available on the ships and the novel coronavirus outbreak didn’t seem to deter any travelers during Stewart Chiron’s trip. He added that he regularly washes his hands with soap and water and limit person-to-person engagement. He reiterates that he’s still going on well with his vacation. Yes, Stewart Chiron’s optimism is greatly noticed but still, cruise line companies are seeing huge negative impacts from this pandemic.
Currently, around 20 China cruises of Carnival and Royal Caribbean have been canceled. The Miami-based cruise line company, Royal Caribbean estimates that several cancelations so far will take out about 1% off their 2020 revenue and that’s still subject to change and might still be doubled if travel restrictions in China still in place at the end of February.
According to David Tarsh, a spokesman for ForwardKeys said that the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the 2019 novel coronavirus has some key differences. Way back in 2003, the media reported that the virus was impacting entire Southeast Asia even though it was confined to China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore. And in that case, it greatly affects tourism even in places that were far from the outbreak like India. This time, cruses are more likely aware that the virus is centered in Wuhan in China. And this can help with the quick recovery.