Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced that its ocean-going cruise members have decided on a third voluntary suspension of US passenger operations until at least 31 October.
A previously agreed extension was due to run until 15 September to allow more time for Federal government to ‘resolve barriers to resumption’.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended a ‘No Sail Order’ last month for cruise ships carrying at least 250 guests through 30 September.
REAPPRAISING THE SITUATION
In a statement, the CLIA acknowledges that despite the ‘valuable alignment’ between its voluntary suspension and the CDC’s No Sail Order, it was prudent to take further action.
“This is a difficult decision as we recognise the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry,” read the statement.
“However, we believe this proactive action further demonstrates the cruise industry’s commitment to public health and willingness to voluntarily suspend operations in the interest of public health and safety, as has occurred twice prior.
“CLIA cruise line members will continue to monitor the situation with the understanding that we will revisit a possible further extension on or before 30 September 2020. At the same time, should conditions in the US change and it becomes possible to consider short, modified sailings, we would consider an earlier restart.”
A recent CLIA economic impact study reveals that cruise activity in the US supports nearly half a million jobs and contributes $53 billion in economic activity in the country annually.
Each day of the suspension incurs losses of up to $110m in economic activity and 800 direct and indirect jobs in the US, suggests the CLIA.
The impact will be felt hardest in those states particularly dependent on the trade, including Florida, Texas, Alaska, Washington, New York and California.