IMO and UNWTO reiterate their call to Governments to designate all seafarers and marine personnel as key workers and remove any barriers to crew changes,
…the statement reads.
According to industry data, the cruise sector supports 1.2 million jobs and contributes US$150 billion to the global economy every year. Tourism is vitally important for Small Islands States, where it sustains millions of livelihoods and brings substantial socio-economic benefits, accounting for over 30% of total exports for the majority of these.
However, due to the pandemic, 850 million to 1.1 billion fewer international tourist arrivals are expected worldwide, which means a loss of $910 billion to $1.2 trillion in export revenues from tourism, putting 100 to 120 million of direct tourism-related jobs at risk.
Since WHO declared the global pandemic, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member cruise lines announced a voluntary suspension of operations worldwide, making the sector one of the first to do so. Suspending cruise operations through July 2020 resulted in $50.24 billion in total economic loss, representing over 334,000 jobs and $14.75 billion in wages.
While recognizing the efforts made by the industry, countries and international organizations to protect passengers and crew, the UN agencies, through their joint statement, invite Governments to use the ‘Guidance on the gradual and safe resumption of operations of cruise ships in the EU in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic‘, to facilitate the recovery of the sector under safe conditions.
In addition, they urge Governments to use three framework documents (operator framework, passenger framework and seafarer framework) developed by the UK Chamber of Shipping together with CLIA, which identify, measure and provide recommendations on the resumption of cruise ship operations from the United Kingdom in the context of the pandemic.