The cruise industry has sailed into a major crossroads. On the one hand, a growing anti-cruise industry movement has been gathering momentum across the Mediterranean over the past few years and now the sector faces a major challenge of not only persuading top destinations like Spain and the Balearics to allow its liners to return but also convince the general public that cruise liners are safe.
Spain will be opening up its doors once again to international travellers looking for some much-needed sun post-lockdown, but the same sadly cannot be said for the cruise industry.
The popular Mediterranean holiday hotspot has announced that it has extended the ban on cruise ships with no end date given. In 2019, Spain saw more than 10 million cruise passengers visit, a number which is certain to shrink drastically in 2020 due to the cruise ship ban. Cruise ships were banned from entering Spain three months ago because of the risk of coronavirus.
The Spanish government has stressed that “all the necessary measures of sanitary control would be adopted to avoid any risk for the population of the country”. Now it’s decision time. There are mounting reasons for an overall cap on cruise ships, most of them all valid, but they are an extra boost to the economy and I think Palma could put up with a few liners this year if the price is right.