Home Associations Theodore Kontes on the Cruise Industry

Theodore Kontes on the Cruise Industry

by admin

Theodore Kontes on the Cruise Industry 

Theodore Kontes

We asked Theodore Kontes – – one of the leading experts in the field of Maritime Tourism — for his views on the state of the Cruise Industry under the Covid pandemic and specifically on Planning, and Cruise Management. He said: 

“Once the tourist season in Greece is over, and  by the end of this year, we will have the final results for 2021 on ship calls and on the number of visitors and  passengers.

The results we expect will be encouraging and we believe that they have exceeded the forecasts, since Greece was probably the first country to open its borders for Cruising and quite early on, welcoming a sufficient number of cruise ships to many destinations within the country and particularly its islands.

Of course, the full implementation of hygiene protocols during the pandemic by companies, ships, destinations, was something that helped us to a safe period in maritime tourism.

There were few cases on ships, but with the implementation of measures and the isolation of cases, unpleasant situations were avoided.

We all know that 2020 was a disastrous year for cruises with an average operation of 15-18% compared to 2019, while globally in 2021 with the restart of the industry we expect about 25% further growth and perhaps up to 30%. So, we hope that we will have already reached the end of this year, at a cruise ship activity rate of about 50% worldwide.

In Greece, we expect approximately 2,180 calls and 1.85 million passenger arrivals for 2020-2021, compared to 247 calls and 267,000 passenger arrivals for 2020. The forecasts for 2022 seem to be quite optimistic, especially in the main destinations that include Piraeus, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Corfu, Heraklion, Crete, Katakolo, etc.

The initial forecast for 2022, therefore, leads us to hope that it will bring about a further improvement of about 30% compared to 2021, approaching 2,840 calls and 2.8 million passenger arrivals.

On the other hand, a full return to 2019 levels is expected for the year 2024, perhaps even 2025.

Watching daily the events connected with the evolution of the pandemic and the continuous virus mutations we face, something that brings about continuous restrictions on movement and development in general, we always have our doubts about reaching the goals we seek.

Based on the daily developments of the pandemic, as well as the recommendations of the Committee of Virulence Experts, it is imperative to apply the following tactics in order to shorten the immunity we expect:
–  Vaccinations in most of the population but this is something that needs to be achieved worldwide across the globe to avoid the setbacks of the pandemic with mutations due to travel.
– Avoiding overcrowding in any area including primarily on board ships etc.
– To constantly follow all sanitary instructions in all areas,
– To make the appropriate required tests and have the human resources,
– We hope that the vaccines will fully cover the various mutations that are occurring in humanity, but that there will also be the corresponding healing drugs that are pending approval.

These are, as we know, the most basic applications for the complete and safe return to entrepreneurship and the development of society.

This, as mentioned above, is something that must be implemented worldwide for complete relief from the pandemic and a return to normality.

In the hope that the above will be implemented gradually, the appropriate provisions have been made for the complete restart of the cruise industry that has been so badly impacted by the pandemic.

It was with great surprise that we were recently informed about the new multi-mutation of the “O” (Omicron) virus, which mutation began in Africa and in no time has already been detected in Europe, Asia, America, Australia, etc.

What is worrying is that scientists need some time to study this new mutation and proceed to implement tactics that will control the situation.

The direct management of travel from specific destinations is correct.
Specific examples have already been announced:
– Cruise ship companies that scheduled Christmas cruises to start from South Africa with American and European passengers and with their ships on their way to their destinations, have once again cancelled these departures and destinations.
– With the emergence of the new mutation, similar announcements were made in various primary markets in order to avoid travel, including Cruising.
– Also, with the announcement of this mutation, all financial-financial centres with the corresponding impact on the cruise industry through the various companies were negatively affected.
– Some major tour operators have already announced the cancellation of their programmes for the first four months of 2022. Russia has also cancelled maritime tourism for Russians in the Black Sea and specifically for three ships of Russian interests they had planned.

Everything mentioned above are ongoing events with the final outcome unknown at this moment.

Let us hope that soon all these consequences will be controlled and resolved and development plans will continue unhindered, including of course the reactivation of the Cruise industry with full return within the next two years.

The US President in a recent statement fully supported global hygiene measures including vaccinations with the support of developed societies to end this pandemic completely and safely as soon as possible.”

You may also like

Leave a Comment