CLIA Slams Possible Government Action on Cruising

A cruise industry organization is slamming a report that the United States government is considering ways to discourage travelers from cruising as part of an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.

According to Reuters.com, anonymous sources within the government said Vice President Mike Pence and the team assigned to handle the U.S. reaction to the coronavirus outbreak are reportedly considering an advisory for some or all American travelers to temporarily avoid taking cruises.

As a result, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) responded to the reports:

“Any action to restrict cruising is unwarranted, and at odds with the World Health Organization which “continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks." Singling out the travel and tourism industry, and cruise lines specifically, will have significant detrimental impacts—some possibly irreversible—on the national and local economies.”

“The cruise industry is a vital artery for the U.S. economy, supporting over 421,000 American jobs and contributing nearly $53 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018. Cruise activity supports travel agencies, airlines, hotels and a broad supply chain of industries that stretches across the United States.”

“With the proactive measures in place by the cruise industry based on prevailing guidance from global health authorities, restricting cruising is unreasonable and will have long-lasting detrimental effects on the U.S. economy well beyond the travel and tourism industry.”

The discussions about the possible cruise ban took placed at the White House on Friday evening ahead of Vice President Pence’s scheduled meeting with cruise line and airline CEOs on Saturday to discuss the impact of coronavirus on the travel industry.

In addition to the possible ban, the Trump Administration is already telling elderly people to use “common sense and caution” when planning a trip on a cruise ship following several highly publicized cases of the viral infection onboard ships.

“Cruise ships represent a unique challenge for health officials,” Vice President Pence said in a statement. “We’re going to be working closely with some great American companies in the cruise line industry to enhance and strengthen the screening procedures.”