Analyst: Cruise Industry Has Battle Ahead To Restore Customer Confidence
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
Holland American Line's Zaandam will receive COVID-19 test kits after passengers and crew reported having influenza-like symptoms. However, it may feel "too little too late," as much of the reputational damage has already been done, says Ben Cordwell, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData.
With stories of passengers being quarantined in cabins, ship environments enhancing the spread of infection and U.S. travel advice warning citizens not to go on cruises, Cordwell calls the COVID-19 crisis "a PR disaster" for the cruise industry.
“It is important for cruise businesses to show that they have learned from COVID-19 and introduce more stringent health measures in the future – improving customer confidence in the industry," says Cordwell.
“There is no doubt that a plethora of deals and savings will be utilized by cruise businesses in the months ahead. When 9/11 rocked the tourism industry, cruise companies reacted by lowering rates which led to a resurgence in passenger numbers. Businesses will be hoping that the same strategy will be effective in offsetting the impact of COVID-19. However, customers will need to be reassured that cruising is a safe environment to be in.”
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.