RCCL’s Fain: “We Are In A Storm,” But “This Too Shall Pass”
The stock market had strong gains Monday, but travel stocks continued to struggle in the first day of trading for March. It's just the latest in a series of many examples that illustrate how it's going to be a long and bumpy road to recovery for the cruise business.
Hence, Richard Fain's words to travel advisors yesterday took on unusual importance.
In a video message to advisors, shot outdoors in front of the Empress of the Seas, the Chairman/CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, started off by saying, "This is a tough time, a really tough time, and all of us know it because all of us are going through it together.
"And after enough challenging days for your business, after reading enough of the endless media reports about coronavirus, it's really easy to think that the world is coming to an end.
"Well, I have a spoiler alert, it's not.
"We're all spending time worrying, and that's natural because we're in a storm. and when you're in the middle of a storm, it certainly feels like it will never end.
"As with most storms, it gets worse before it gets better. But it's hard to remember that this too shall pass.
"And while the virus is something to be taken seriously, it's not a cause for panic, not in a personal sense, and not in a business sense either.
"As far as the impact on our business, it ain't pretty. In fact, to use a technical term I learned in business school, it sucks."
"Like You, We're Hurting"
Fain reports Royal Caribbean has had to cancel cruises, has lost revenue, and its people are putting in long days, looking out for the health and safety for guests and crew. "But we absolutely sailed through rough waters like this before and we've weathered every storm side-by-side with you."
Fain referenced dealing with impacts from events from 9/11 to H1N1 virus, and the Ebola scare. Like today, these challenges caused travel advisors to deal with an ever-changing set of demands and circumstances.
"In each case, the rough seas ended," said Fain. "We'll be here for you until this is in our rear-view mirror. None of us is going to go through this alone."
In case you haven't seen it, you can watch the entire messagehere.