Richard D. Fain voiced what we’ve all been thinking for a long time now. It’s time to move past the pandemic. In a video update, the Chairman and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group believes that although the pandemic is certainly not over, the focus should now be on the future of cruising.
Speaking from the Royal Caribbean headquarters in Miami, the company chairman and CEO hopes that conversations will soon go back to the everyday business of cruising instead of the current dialogues.
Ships Remain the Safest Vacation Option
Many people have said in recent times that cruise ships are now considered to be one of the safest vacation options out there. And for a good reason, ships sail with a large majority of guests fully vaccinated onboard, upscaled sanitation levels, and air filtration systems that guarantee a clean environment aboard. It is one of the reasons why Richard D. Fain feels we should be looking to the future, not to the past:
“We at the Royal Caribbean group will continue to devote stringent protocols to protect against COVID-19. But every conversation doesn’t need to be about the disease. We don’t need to start every chat with how much we miss going to the theater or to a restaurant. We’ll be able to live our lives more normally without face masks and without panic and cruising.”
You can watch Fain’s full video message below:
Also Read: Which Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships Have Resumed Operations?
On the topics of safety onboard, Richard D. Fain draws the comparison between counties in the United States which are for the large part painted red, meaning many infections, while ships should be in the blue category given the low amount of infections onboard:
“On ships, the vast bulk of the people are vaccinated. We can control our sanitation, including air filtration, et cetera. And we can establish strict protocols as a result. We can make ships safer than shore-based alternatives.“
“Although the CDC doesn’t do a comparison, I believe a fair reading of all the data taking into account all the factors would color this ship blue, which is the lowest category. Certainly better than the bulk of counties in America. And that’s why I’m going to stop talking about the disease. The time has come to look forward. The time has come to focus on how we come out of the panic and out of the pandemic rather than how we should live during it.”
What Does the Future Hold for Royal Caribbean?
Demand is certainly on the up for the cruise industry and Royal Caribbean. The cruise line has started increasing capacity onboard its ships and is investing heavily in environmental solutions. But most importantly for the Royal Caribbean Group is to bring travel agents back into the business.
So far, Royal Caribbean has seen online bookings reaching higher numbers than before, but the personal touch that travel agents offer is something that cannot be beaten.
“There still will be many who prefer to buy cruises online and the internet does make that very easy, but it was the personal contract contact from travel advisors that built up the knowledge and awareness in the first place. It was the expertise of the travel advisors that gave people the impetus to cruise.”
With more businesses entering the cruise market, think JetBlue last week, the market for travel agents is becoming more and more saturated. At the very least, they can count on The Royal Caribbean Group for support in a time when most travel agents will be in the process of rebuilding.