The global spread of COVID-19 is undoubtedly a challenge for everyone. It requires changing existing business models. The reactivation of the cruise sector takes measures that give a more effective response to this new reality.
In personal life and organizations, things happen. There is an external context that affects us and, depending on how we react to it, we create our reality. We have the power to make 2022 our best year, and sometimes we ignore it.
From one perspective, we can say that tourism has been one of the most affected sectors by the pandemic and the new Omicron variant expansion cannot be predicted with total reliability either.
We can also analyze the slowdown in growth compared to the over-tourism obtained in 2019. The suspension of travel routes and restrictions in the maritime industry resulted in economic losses of more than 77 billion dollars, destroying 518 thousand jobs worldwide. In Spain, 2,400 million losses and more than 20,000 jobs.
The future is uncertain and it is unlikely that COVID-19, like other viruses like the flu, will be fully eradicated.
But what if we take another look at it?
Certainly, we can see the need to be better prepared for changes. The figures are revealing. Things that worked before may not do it now. It is a collective wake-up call that allows us to rethink business models and challenges the existing ones.
Likewise, the pandemic has made it clear to us that there is a new reality that needs to be addressed. The tourist profile has changed, they have new needs and seek more confidence and security.
What steps is the maritime industry taking to respond more effectively to the future?
On December 3, we celebrated with a grand gala the resilience and reactivation of the sector at the Excellence Awards for Cruises in Las Palmas ( Gran Canaria. Spain ). The dark days of the pandemic are behind us and, if COVID-19 cases start to trend downward, we may soon be navigating into a regulation-free post-pandemic future.
Although the appearance of cases with the Omicron variant indeed increases border controls and closures in several countries around the world, the experience acquired with the first steps of the expansion of COVID in February and March 2020 dampens the impact. Today, there is a way to navigate safely with the proper precautions. Cruises are safer than ever.
We tell you some of the measures taken:
- Cruises are equipped with medical facilities and disinfection, cleaning, and oxygenation solutions with hospital-grade technology.
- Passenger control: vaccination certificate, PCR 48 hours before traveling, and other rules per protocol.
- Safety/health procedures such as temperature control, the use of a mask, fewer than 10 passengers in the elevators, the guarantee of complying with the social safety distance, among others.
- Technology and automation will be present before and during the cruise experience to reduce contact and ensure social distancing. For example, in-boarding, check-in, extra payments, etc.
- Smaller boats.
- Shorter trips.
- Reduction of activities where social distance cannot be maintained, such as the passenger fire drill which becomes virtual.
- Possibility of stopping at private islands, to maintain health protocols both on land and at sea.
At Abaft Marine, we continue to play an important role in helping cruise and ferry companies emerge stronger. Our goal has always been to offer outfit solutions in the public areas of cruise ships and large ships to enhance passenger enjoyment and safety.
Count on us for your projects. We are here to support you!