Cruise industry faces uphill battle post-COVID-19
GlobalData’s Ben Cordwell says ‘reputational damage’ to the sector may have a long-term impact
According to SAGA’s latest poll, 62% of over-50s are reluctant to take a cruise due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, 44% of respondents are delaying booking future travel, whilst 25% have already cancelled travel plans.
Ben Cordwell, travel & tourism analyst at GlobalData, comments: “These figures highlights a move towards what many within the industry would have been fearing - the reputational damage caused by COVID-19 will have a long-term impact on how cruises are viewed by the public. The figures released by SAGA will likely be skewed, due to the fact that more respondents are within the high-risk age range compared with the general public (for COVID-19), however, cruise companies should take this as a warning that many others will feel the same way.
“It is essential that cruise companies address the concerns of the public and have contingency plans in place to stop a repeat of what has been seen during this outbreak. If companies do not respond sufficiently, they risk experiencing severe public backlash that could take the industry years to recover from.
“There is serious concern that the cruise industry could go backwards after many years of growth. Cruise liners must take a proactive approach, or else face the possibility of drifting into obscurity.”