Cruises are a major part of the travel and tourism industry contributing a big amount to the global sea economy. They operate from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, carrying thousands of passengers worldwide. This industry represents a huge investment for the cruise owners but a lucrative return once the cruises are moving. After a year-long break from Covid-19 restrictions, the cruises are once again afloat in the seas worldwide.
A Huge Industry
The global cruise industry is worth $150 billion. In the U.S. alone, it is worth more than $53 billion as a yearly revenue base supporting 421,000 jobs in the country. This revenue is almost four times more than that of Germany’s however, the situation during the peak of Covid-19 in 2020, seemed quite bleak. But after a year-long break, this industry is once again booming as several countries have lifted travel restrictions for the tourists from their ports.
The leading countries in the cruise industry business include the U.S., Germany, UK, Canada, and Italy. These countries saw a drastic decline in revenue due to Covid-19 travel restrictions the previous year. However, experts suggest a remarkable growth in this sector between the years 2021-22 as the restrictions are being lifted and people are keen to travel, as is evident from large-scale online pre-bookings for the coming year.
Impact of Covid-19 on the Industry Revenue
There had been a drastic impact on the global cruise industry, especially during the peak of Covid-19 last year. It was due to the sudden halt in all leisure travel bookings by the passengers, along with cancellations and refunds. This was a huge setback to the industry with millions of dollars lost in a record period.
The revenue of the Carnival Corporation went down to almost 73% of its total $5.6 billion during 2020. Similarly, the Norwegian and the Royal Caribbean Cruises lines suffered an 80% decline the same year.
According to the Statista database, the cruise industry tolerated an unprecedented loss of revenue i.e. from $20.82 billion in 2019 to a mere $1.28 billion in 2020. This is a drastic loss in just one year.
Another loss was the job market in the cruise industry. There are almost 2 million jobs within the cruise industry in various sectors like food, beverage, hotels/restaurants, manufacturing, on-board services, professional services, technical services, supply chains, etc. with a shut down on the cruise activities, there was a shocking loss of almost 2500 jobs per day. According to an estimate, just a 1% decline in the revenue results in 9000 jobs worldwide.
Resuming the Activities
Since travel restrictions are being lifted gradually in many countries, a boom in sea travel in again being witnessed. The concept of “hyper-local” trips is being considered that includes strictly local population on board. Despite a limited idea, it seems to be gaining popularity among people who have been desperately looking forward to traveling and outdoor activities.
The future of the cruise industry seems bright in the coming years as the gradual lift of travel restrictions gives a ray of hope for the recovery of the huge amount lost the previous year. The companies are all ready to open up for the passengers although strict rules are being applied and only vaccinated passengers are being allowed to travel.
There have been thousands of pre-bookings online, mostly from Australian, European, and American passengers. The labor force has also been called on board with gradual hiring and recommencement of other activities.
Thus, the coming year 2022 seems to be the year of revival of the cruise industry, hopefully!