The Chief Operating Officer at Cruise Planners, Vicky Garcia, has pleaded on the U.S. government to allow the cruise industry to resume operations.
“[We’ve had] enough already… It’s affecting the entire industry: jobs are being lost and businesses are closing on the daily. This is unfair and blatantly irresponsible,” Garcia said during the Advocating for the Return of Cruises online press conference on Oct. 2.
This plea comes just days after the CDC extended the “No Sail” order for cruise ships in the United States for another month.
In Garcia’s opinion, the extension is unfair, especially when “resorts, hotels, airlines, theme parks, restaurants are not having to defend their safe return to business at the level that we are, as the cruise industry.”
The COO has highlighted that the industry is ready to resume sailing.
“I have a firm belief that cruise ships are going to be one of the cleanest and best places to be on. Probably always have been and now, with new protocols, even more so,” she said.
The data presented at the press conference showed that people are ready to get back to traveling – cruising specifically – too.
According to the Back to Normal barometer surveys done on Sept. 9 and Sept. 23, 46 percent of travelers said that if the pandemic ended tomorrow, their first large discretionary purchase would be travel. 73 percent of people who went on a cruise in the past year said that they are ready to go on one now.
“People want to get away, which includes European cruises, river cruises, tours, and land vacation packages, they want to travel… There’s so much pent-up demand,” Garcia stated.
“We need a date when cruising will open so that we can confidently sell these destinations with certain dates in mind,” she said.
Cruise Planners is a franchised company comprised of over 3,000 U.S-based travel agencies, all small businesses across the country.