The cruising industry has taken a massive hit with the pandemic and its widespread implications, not just for cruise ships but travel in general.
But there’s still hope.
During 2019, AEC in partnership with The BHive undertook a research project that covered several major cruise ports in the Asia Pacific region to figure out what was working and what needed to change in respect to the impact of cruise tourism on micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) growth and creating sustainable communities.
The findings of that report are out now.
What we discovered was that cruising is indeed operationally, economically and socially complex. It provides enormous benefits to local economies but also requires responsible management for positive environmental, economic and social outcomes.
Cruise tourism is only sustainable if it is socially equitable, environmentally benign and commercially sound.
Communities need to learn how to access and work with cruise lines, as well as identify skills gaps in their MSMEs that service the cruise industry.
So there are big opportunities but there’s a lot of work that needs to be done for cruising to flourish.
The pandemic has given us all a massive wake-up call but this is also a chance to reset and rebuild better.
I, for one, am really excited about working to create a sustainable future for the cruise industry.
To read the full APEC Cruise Tourism Impact report click here - https://www.apec.org/Publications/2020/08/APEC-Economic-Study-on-the-Impact-of-Cruise-Tourism
Photo Credit: PNG Tourism Promotion Authority