Due to the suspension of cruising from mid-March to September 2020, there was a loss in economic activity worldwide of $77 bill, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents around 95% of global cruise capacity.
In addition, 518,000 jobs were lost, accounting for around $23 bill in wages. CLIA’s figures were based on around 30 guests equalling one job in the cruise industry.
In the ‘2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook’ report preamble, President and CEO, Kelly Craighead (pictured) said, “The reality of 2020 sits in stark contrast to the year that immediately preceded it.
“In 2019, the global cruise industry welcomed nearly 30 mill passengers, creating jobs for 1.8 mill people around the world and contributing over $154 bill to the global economy.
“With this growth came increased recognition of cruising as one of the best ways to experience the world, and our industry was focused on achieving previously unthinkable milestones to pave the path for a brighter and more sustainable future,” she said.
Despite the pandemic, from early July through mid-December, 2020, there were more than 200 sailings. CLIA claimed that the success of these initial sailings demonstrated that the new protocols were working as designed—to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 among passengers, crew and the destinations.
CLIA’s research suggested that 74% of guests were likely to cruise again in the next few years; two out of three cruisers were willing to board a ship within a year and 58% of international vacationers who have never taken a cruise before were likely to go cruising in the next few years.
During the pandemic, cruise shipowners continued to remain focused on delivering a cleaner and more sustainable future by way of targeting the IMO-led 40% carbon emissions rate of reduction by 2030, compared to 2008, the association said.
Thus far, there has been $23.5 bill invested in new technology including the use of cleaner fuels. Around 24 of the ships ordered through 2027 have been designed to be powered by LNG.
About 270 cruise ships are due to operate worldwide, including 19 scheduled for delivery from the shipyards in 2021.
CLIA’s annual 2020 Environmental Technologies and Practices Report highlighted the progress that the cruise industry continued to make in the adoption of new environmental technologies.
For example, 49% of new capacity on order will rely on LNG for primary propulsion; more than 69% of global capacity utilises Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS/scrubber) and 96% of non-LNG powered newbuildings will have an EGCS installed.
Around 99% of ships on order will have waste water treatment systems fitted, bringing the global capacity using these systems up to 78.5%.
In addition, 58% of the new capacity will be shoreside electricity compatible, while 32% of global fleet is already capable of shoreside connections and 25% of the existing capacity will be retrofitted, CLIA claimed.