LONDON, United Kingdom — The travel and tourism sector in the Caribbean is recovering at a faster rate than any other region in the world, with its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) expected to increase by just over 47 per cent this year, compared to 30.7 per cent globally, according to new research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The council, which represents the global travel and tourism private sector and conducts research on the economic impact of the industry in 185 countries, noted that the recovery globally has been hindered by a lack of international coordination, severe travel restrictions and slower vaccination rates.
“However, the Caribbean is now benefiting from more relaxed restrictions around the world and low infection rates which are, in turn, boosting international travel spend and aiding the region's swift economic recovery,” the WTTC said this week.
The council said that the sector's contribution to the global economy this year will amount to US$1.4 trillion — mainly driven by domestic spending — while the Caribbean an expect a year-on-year increase of nearly US$12 billion, driven by both international and domestic travel spend.
“However, while the Caribbean is recovering faster than other regions, this is still below its performance in 2019, a record year for the sector, where travel and tourism represented more than 14 per cent of the region's GDP, contributing more than US$58 billion to its economy,” the WTTC said.
The research also reveals that at the current rate of recovery, travel and tourism's contribution to the Caribbean economy could see a further year-on-year increase of 28.7 per cent in 2022, representing a boost of US$10 billion.
The data also reveal that at the current rate of recovery international visitor spend across the region could see a year-on-year increase of 61.7 per cent in 2021, ahead of domestic spend which could climb 52.6 per cent.
“Next year, international spend can continue to rise with a further year-on-year jump of 43.1 per cent, with domestic spending also increasing by 13.6 per cent,” the WTTC said.
The council noted that last year, when restrictions brought much of international travel to a grinding halt, 680,000 tourism jobs were lost across the Caribbean, equating to almost a quarter of all jobs in the sector.
“However, this year the research reveals an expected 12 per cent rise in jobs — compared to a meagre 0.7 per cent globally — with a similar potential year-on-year jobs rise across the sector next year by a positive 11.5 per cent,” the WTTC said.
“Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic stole almost a quarter of all travel and tourism jobs from the region, but due to a significant increase in international and domestic spend, both jobs and GDP are on the rise,” said WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson.
Reacting to the research findings, that the introduction of enhanced health and safety protocols at the very beginning of the pandemic reassured travellers and are now helping to drive travellers back to the region, new WTTC Executive Committee member Adam Stewart said “Confidence and trust are what drive visitor arrivals, and are the key to keep our economies thriving in our region. ”
Stewart, the executive chairman of Sandals Resorts International, said his hotel group credits its Caribbean-wide rebound largely to the Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness which it introduced early in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the local ministries of health in the countries where Sandals operates.
“These enhanced measures are based on a thorough assessment of all points of guest contact, resulting in the integration of advanced hygiene practices across 18 key touchpoints — from airport arrival through to departure,” said Stewart who is also executive chairman of the Jamaica Observer.
“Our recently announced Sandals Vacation Assurance programme is a continuation of this effort to build trust and boost confidence,” he added.
According to the WTTC, the tourism sector's contribution to the region's GDP and the rise in jobs could be more positive this year and next, if five vital measures are met by governments around the world.
These measures include allowing fully vaccinated travellers to move freely, irrespective of their origin or eventual destination; the implementation of digital solutions which enable all travellers to easily prove their COVID-19 status, in turn speeding up the process at borders around the world; recognition of all vaccines authorized by the WHO; agreement from all relevant authorities that international travel is safe with enhanced health and safety protocols; and vaccine equity to ensure no region is left behind.
“The research shows that if these five vital rules are followed before the end of 2021, the impact on the economy and jobs could be considerable,” the WTTC said, pointing out that the sector's contribution to the economy could increase by 51.3 per cent this year (approximately US$13 billion), and a further year-on-year rise next year of 36.9 per cent (nearly US$14 billion).
“This, in turn, could have a positive effect on employment with 15 per cent increase in jobs this year and a year-on-year increase next year of 18.6 per cent to over 2.8 million, more than 75,000 jobs than in 2019 when travel and tourism was at its peak.
The Cayman Islands border will reopen on the 20th November 2021, Premier Wayne Panton announced on Friday October 22nd 2021.
At that point, all quarantine requirements will be lifted for most vaccinated travellers entering the jurisdiction as the island moves to Phase 4 of government’s reopening plan.
The much-anticipated announcement, made at a government press briefing, paves the way for visitors to return to the islands.
There are still several restrictions in place, including testing requirements for arriving passengers. But the removal of quarantine is considered key to allowing tourism to resume. As it stands, children – who cannot be vaccinated – will not be able to come to the islands without quarantining, but Panton said this was being kept under consideration.
He said, “While we’ve had some visitors during the recent months, our tourism partners have always made it very clear that the real economic turnaround will come with the removal of quarantine for vaccinated travellers.
“This now gives us the opportunity as a country to rebuild our reputation, rebuild our world-class tourism destination and get many families and businesses back to work.”
He said Cayman was on the cusp of reaching the 80% vaccination target and he expects that threshold will be reached before 20 Nov.
Panton added that the government was moving forward cautiously with the health of the community as the number one priority.
“COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future. We know there’s no better time than now to continue with our reopening plan,” he said.
“We’ve looked at this issue every which way. We don’t see… a better time to do this. So this is our time. This is the moment that the country will go forward and succeed.”
Tourism minister targets recovery
Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan confirmed that visitors will still be required to show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival and proof of vaccination.
With those conditions met, he said, “visitors will be allowed to head straight to their hotels to begin enjoying all that the Cayman Islands vacations have to offer.”
Bryan acknowledged that it had been a “long and difficult year” for tourism but highlighted the announcement of the reopening date and the return of commercial air services, which began last Saturday, as the beginning of the recovery.
“There are now four airlines with confirmed routes to the Cayman Islands, namely, British Airways, JetBlue, Air Canada and Cayman Airways. I thank these airlines for the confidence that they are showing in the government’s reopening strategy, and I hope that following today’s announcement, the other international carriers will consider bringing their return dates forward in line with the government’s commitment to reopening.”
Bryan said the ministry and department of tourism would continue to work with the private sector to fine-tune preparations to welcome back visitors.
As the tourism industry prepares for a “new reality of living with COVID”, he said vaccination levels in the industry were extremely high, mask mandates would be in place and that training was taking place to ensure safe interactions with visitors.
Lateral flow tests to be deployed
Health Minister Sabrina Turner said 29 additional staff had been hired to support the work of the Public Health Department.
She also revealed a $1 million budget to help support people who suffer financially after being forced to isolate because of COVID.
Turner said various modelling exercises of a potential COVID outbreak indicated Cayman was well equipped with enough beds and ventilators as well as medical personnel.
She said the ministry was “poised, prepared and funded” to procure further resources in case of a “surge scenario”.
Turner highlighted the arrival of rapid lateral flow tests as a “game changer” that was already helping to reduce the number of people in quarantine when a positive case is identified.
She said the Ministry of Education is in the process of implementing a policy for how the tests can be used to ensure continuity of learning. Turner said 20,000 tests are being made available to schools.
She said the tests would be distributed free of charge and would be a useful tool in the community alongside mask wearing, contact tracing and, where necessary, quarantine requirements to prevent the spread of the virus. Further details on how the tests will be used in the wider community are anticipated before reopening.
Deputy governor outlines plan
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson outlined some details of the plan designed to allow the country to reopen safely and not have to shut down again, something he said few countries in the world have achieved so far.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson at Friday’s press briefing. – Photo: Alvaro Serey
He said the Cayman Islands COVID-19 Critical Preparedness, Readiness and Response Plan would seek to ensure there was no significant escalation in serious cases once quarantine requirements are removed.
Manderson said the plan would include 10 key categories including policies to ensure continuity of essential services, healthcare systems and educational institutions, among others.
He added there would also be procedures for managing cases at hotels.
Manderson said the plan would be made public and feedback invited.
He added, “We are now engaging with the private sector, the people who are going to help us make this magic happen.”
Panton said vaccinated travellers from countries where at least 60% of the population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine would not be required to quarantine upon arrival in Cayman. Also, passengers from countries with less than a 60% inoculation rate but who can provide electronically verifiable documentation that they had been vaccinated can also forego quarantine.
He added that there would be a portal through which travellers can upload their vaccination documentation, which Customs and Border Control will review. If approved, the travellers will be issued with a travel certification.
The premier said more details of the specifics of the reopening plan would be released in the coming days.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee meanwhile confirmed 34 new cases of COVID-19 in the latest round of testing, comprising four travellers and 30 community cases, including 11 children.
Individuals in quarantine either because they have come into contact with community transmission cases or there is a positive case in their families, and who need assistance with groceries or other deliveries, are now being advised to contact a newly set up Isolation Support Team. Previously, they had been advised to contact the Flu Hotline for assistance.
Danielle Coleman, director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands, said the Flu Hotline had been “somewhat overwhelmed” by the number of calls it has received recently, as the numbers of people in isolation grew.
As a result, a new dedicated support line has been established, she said. It can be contacted on 946-3530 or 1-800-534-3530, or via email on email@example.com.
Washington, DC: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Maldives.
The economy is recovering after an unprecedented pandemic-induced fall in tourism. Real GDP contracted by 32 percent in 2020. The authorities deployed a prompt and comprehensive set of policy responses starting early 2020 that have helped to partially mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and maintain financial stability. These measures were complemented with a rapid rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program. Low aggregate demand, low oil prices, and price subsidies on utilities put inflation at -1.6 percent in 2020. A moderate economic recovery started with the reopening of the country to tourism since mid-July 2020, while both a longer than initially expected global pandemic and an ambitious infrastructure plan are further contributing to large pre-pandemic fiscal and external vulnerabilities.
The strong but still partial recovery in tourism has improved the growth outlook. Growth is projected at about 19 percent in 2021, and medium-term prospects remain positive. Inflation is projected at 1.4 percent in 2021 and to increase to 2.3 in 2022 on the back of higher commodity and food prices. Nonetheless, fiscal and external positions are projected to remain weak over the medium term, underpinned by capital expenditure plans. The Maldives remains at a high risk of external debt distress and a high overall risk of debt distress. The total public and publicly guaranteed (PPG) debt-to-GDP ratio increased from 78 percent in 2019 to 146 percent in 2020, reflecting mostly the contraction in nominal GDP, but also an expansion in nominal debt. PPG debt is projected at 123 percent of GDP in 2026. External financing needs have been large and dollar shortages have persisted, as reflected in large spreads in the parallel foreign exchange market. The recent USD 200 million Sukuk bond issuance on September 3, 2021 covers unsecured financing needs for 2021. The risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside with COVID-19 variants increasing the possibility of a protracted global pandemic, expenditure and policy pressures related to the 2023 presidential electoral cycle, and the uncertainty of vaccine coverage in many source tourism economies.
Executive Board Assessment
Executive Directors noted that the pandemic has hit the Maldives hard and welcomed the authorities’ prompt response to the pandemic as well as the rapid rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program, which helped save lives and alleviate the impact of the crisis on households and businesses. However, Directors noted that risks to the outlook are substantial. They called for prudent and well-coordinated fiscal and monetary policies to safeguard macroeconomic stability, restore debt sustainability and sustain the current exchange rate peg, while supporting sustainable growth.
Directors stressed the importance of ensuring fiscal and debt sustainability over the medium term. They noted that a combination of revenue and expenditure measures is needed to achieve a growth‑friendly fiscal consolidation. In this context, Directors emphasized the need to mobilize revenue and diversify the tax base toward domestic sources once the current crisis abates. They recommended rationalizing capital spending plans, further controlling current spending, and containing external and domestic borrowing. Directors cautioned against central bank financing of the government and encouraged developing a comprehensive debt management strategy, coupled with public financial management reforms, to manage the risks from large infrastructure projects and state-owned enterprises. They also saw the need to develop contingency plans in case downside risks materialize.
Directors agreed that a tighter monetary policy stance may be needed to ensure compatibility with the exchange rate peg, lower external imbalances and build‑up reserves. They supported the Maldives Monetary Authority’s ongoing efforts to modernize monetary policy and the foreign exchange operations framework, including those aimed at eliminating exchange rate restrictions and multiple currency practices.
Directors welcomed the steps to safeguard financial stability and encouraged further efforts to strengthen bank supervision, governance, transparency, and the AML/CFT framework. They welcomed that the Maldives has undertaken a Fiscal Transparency Evaluation mission and commended the authorities for their continued collaboration during capacity development activities.
Directors underscored the importance of addressing climate change-related vulnerabilities. In this regard, they welcomed the Strategic Action Plan, which sets goals on the blue economy, climate resilience and sustainability, and good governance, and their links to the sustainable development goals. However, Directors agreed with the authorities on the need to secure grants and concessional financing to address climate resilient investment needs in a sustainable manner given limited fiscal resources.
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Over 20 cruise ships are returning to service in October.
According to data from the October edition of the Cruise Ships in Service Report by Cruise Industry News, the big news for the month include not only the continued reintroduction of vessels sailing from U.S. ports, but also the return of cruising to China and the expansion of the offer in Europe.
Here are the details:
Ship: Zhao Shang Yi Dun (Viking Sun)
Cruise Line: Viking Cruises China Merchants
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 930
Homeport: Shenzhen (China)
Itinerary: South China Domestic Cruises
First Cruise: October 1
Ship: Disney Wonder
Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 1,750
Homeport: San Diego (United States)
Itinerary: Three- and four-night cruises to Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas
First Cruise: October 1
Ship: Liberty of the Seas
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 3,600
Homeport: Galveston (United States)
Itinerary: Seven-night Western Caribbean
First Cruise: October 3
Cruise Line: P&O Cruises
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 3,100
Homeport: Southampton (England)
Itinerary: Western Europe, Mediterranean and Canary Islands
First Cruise: October 3
Ship: Carnival Freedom
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 2,974
Homeport: Miami (United States)
Itinerary: Six- and eight-night Southern and Eastern Caribbean
First Cruise: October 9
Cruise Line: Holland America Line
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 2,650
Homeport: San Diego (United States)
Itinerary: Three- and four-night cruises to Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas
First Cruise: October 10
Ship: Carnival Elation
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 2,040
Homeport: Port Canaveral (United States)
Itinerary: Four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean
First Cruise: October 11
Ship: Azamara Journey
Cruise Line: Azamara
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 690
Homeport: Piraeus (Greece), Civitavecchia and Venice (Italy)
Itinerary: Greek Islands
First Cruise: October 13
Ship: Spectrum of the Seas
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 4,100
Homeport: Hong Kong
Itinerary: Seacations for local residents
First Cruise: October 14
Ship: Seven Seas Explorer
Cruise Line: Regent Seven Seas
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 738
Homeport: Barcelona (Spain), Trieste and Civitavecchia (Italy)
Itinerary: Western and Eastern Mediterranean
First Cruise: October 15
Cruise Line: Oceania Cruises
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 1,258
Homeport: Istanbul (Turkey) and Trieste (Italy)
Itinerary: Eastern and Western Mediterranean
First Cruise: October 18
Ship: Norwegian Bliss
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 4,200
Homeport: Los Angeles (United States)
Itinerary: Mexican Riviera
First Cruise: October 24
Cruise Line: Phoenix Reisen
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 570
Homeport: Bremerhaven and Hamburg (Germany)
Itinerary: British Islands and Canaries
First Cruise: October 24
Cruise Line: AIDA Cruises
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 2,030
Homeport: Rostock-Warnemunde (Germany) and La Romana (Dominican Republic)
Itinerary: Transatlantic crossing ahead of a winter season in the Caribbean
First Cruise: October 26
Ship: Ruby Princess
Cruise Line: Princess Cruises
Capacity (at 100% Occupancy): 3,070
Homeport: San Francisco (United States)
Itinerary: California Coast and Mexican Riviera
First Cruise: October 31
Other vessels returning to service in October, after short operational pauses:
UNWTO Tourism Barometer - Issue 5 - September 2021
• International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) dropped by 40% in January-July 2021 compared to the same period of 2020. Yet, this was still 80% below the levels of pre-pandemic year 2019.
• This sharp decline represents a loss of some 677 million international arrivals compared to the same seven months of 2019, or 110 million compared to 2020.
• After a weak start of the year, international tourism saw a gradual improvement during the months of June and July 2021, especially in Europe.
• These results were underpinned by the reopening of many destinations to international travel, mostly in Europe and the Americas. The relaxation of travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers, coupled with progress made in the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, contributed to lifting consumer confidence and gradually restoring safe mobility in Europe and other parts of the world. In contrast, most destinations in Asia remain closed to non-essential travel.
• Most destinations reporting data for June and July 2021 saw a moderate rebound in international tourist arrivals compared to the same months of 2020. Small islands in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific, together with a few small European destinations recorded the best performance in June and July according to available data, with arrivals coming close to, or sometimes exceeding prepandemic levels.
• Among the destinations reporting data, Albania (- 2%), Saint-Maarten (-4%), Aruba (-9%), Dominican Republic (-13%), Antigua and Barbuda (-14%), Andorra (-16%), Curaçao (-22%), Montenegro (- 33%), Maldives (-36%) and Seychelles (-39%) were the best performing destinations in the period JuneJuly 2021, over the same two months of 2019.
• July (-67%) saw comparatively better performance than June (-77%), making it the best month so far since April 2020. An estimated 54 million tourists travelled across borders in July 2021, compared to 34 million in 2020, though well below the 164 million recorded in 2019.
• By regions, Europe and the Americas recorded the smallest decreases in international arrivals in June and July, supported by intraregional demand. Several large destinations contributed to these results, recovering in some cases up to 80% of 2019 levels in the month of July, including Mexico (-19%), Croatia (-22%), Turkey (-33%), Greece (-50%) and Spain (-55%).
• Asia and the Pacific continued to suffer the weakest results in the period January to July 2021, with a 95% drop in international arrivals compared to the same period in 2019. Only essential travel was recorded in many Asian destinations, as most countries remained closed to international travel. The Middle East (-82%) recorded the second largest decline in arrivals, followed by Europe and Africa (both -77%). The Americas (-68%) saw a comparatively smaller decrease.
• By sub-regions, the Caribbean (-52% over 2019) recorded the best relative performance in JanuaryJuly 2021. Growing travel from the United States has benefitted destinations in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Mexico. The Caribbean (+11%) as well as Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+1%) were the only sub-regions to record growth in Jan-July 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
• Most sub-regions saw comparatively better results in July than in June, with Southern and Mediterranean Europe, Central America and the Caribbean all posting decreases below 50% in July over 2019.
• Despite the relative improvement in performance over the low levels of 2020, international tourism remained overall well below 2019 results. This is reflected in the evaluation made by the UNWTO Panel of Experts in the September survey, showing mixed results for the period May-August 2021.
• Domestic travel continued to drive the recovery of tourism in several destinations, especially those with large domestic markets. In China and Russia, domestic air seat capacity already exceeded precrisis levels. However, the rebound in domestic travel in many markets has not compensated for the large drop in international tourism.
Modest improvement of international tourism receipts and expenditure in June and July
• Destinations continued to report weak international tourism receipts in the first seven months of 2021, though several countries did record a modest improvement in June and July, and some even surpassed the earnings of 2019. Among the larger destinations, Mexico earned roughly the same tourism receipts in June 2021 as in 2019, and in July posted a 3% increase over 2019.
• The same is true for outbound travel. Among the larger markets, France (-35%) and the United States (-49%) saw a significant improvement in July, though tourism spending was still well below 2019 levels. Other countries such as Portugal (-25%) and Ukraine (-35%) saw a significant improvement in July, though tourism spending was also below 2019 levels. Romania spent roughly the same amount on outbound tourism in July 2021 as in 2019.
UNWTO Tourism Barometer Issue 5 September 2021
Most revenue is generated from global cruise operations
Published October 01, 2021
Carnival Corp. (CCL) and Carnival Plc (CCL.L) operate a cruise line company that is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and as an American depositary share (ADS) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The dual-listed company functions as a single economic entity through contractual agreements of the two separate legal entities. Carnival Cruise Line is the company's leading brand, offering year-round cruises in The Bahamas, the Caribbean and Mexico, and seasonal cruises in Bermuda, the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. Its eight other brands are: Princess, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Cunard, AIDA, Costa, P&O Cruises Australia, and P&O Cruises U.K.
Carnival faces direct competition within the cruise line industry from Royal Caribbean Group (RCL), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH), and Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (LIND). But as part of the broader travel and tourism industry, the company also faces competition from operators of hotels, resorts, casinos, and theme parks. Carnival's indirect competitors include The Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), Marriott International Inc. (MAR), and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT).
Carnival announced in late September financial results for Q3 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), the three-month period ended Aug. 31, 2021. While the report showed improvement, the company's revenue, net income and operating profit performance were dramatically weaker than before the COVID-19 pandemic started sweeping across the globe in early 2020. In Q3, Carnival reported a net loss of $2.8 billion, a slight improvement from the net loss of $2.9 billion reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose more than 17.5 times to $546 million in the third quarter, rebounding significantly from last year. Carnival, which uses operating income as the profit metric for its individual business segments, reported an operating loss that narrowed to $2.1 billion from $2.3 billion in the same three-month period a year ago.
Carnival's core business, along with the rest of the cruise and travel and tourism industries, has been severely adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company halted its guest cruise operations in mid-March 2020. Eight of the company's nine brands have resumed guest cruise operations and 35% of its capacity is operating with guests on board as of Aug. 31, 2021. Carnival expects to post a net loss in both Q4 and FY 2021, which ends Nov. 30, 2021.
Carnival's Business Segments
Carnival operates four separate business segments: North America & Australia (NAA) cruise operations; Europe & Asia (EA) cruise operations; Cruise Support; and Tour and Other. The company provides a breakdown of revenue and operating income for each of these segments. Because all four segments posted an operating loss in Q3 FY 2021 a separate pie chart for operating income was excluded from the diagram above.
North America & Australia cruise operations
The NAA cruise operations segment is comprised of five of Carnival's nine cruise brands. Those brands, their total passenger capacity, and total number of ships as of Nov. 30, 2020, are: Carnival Cruise Line at 66,400 passengers and 23 ships; Princess Cruises, 42,610 passengers and 14 ships; Holland America Line, 18,820 passengers and 9 ships; P&O Cruises (Australia), 7,230 passengers and 3 ships; and Seabourn, 2,570 passengers and 5 ships.6 The NAA segment reported an operating loss of $1.3 billion in Q3 FY 2021 compared to an operating loss of $1.8 billion in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter expanded more than 18 times to $271 million, accounting for nearly 50% of companywide revenue.
Europe & Asia cruise operations
The EA cruise operations segment is comprised of Carnival's other four cruise brands. Those brands, their total passenger capacity, and total number of ships as of Nov. 30, 2020, are: Costa Cruises at 34,980 passengers and 11 ships; AIDA Cruises, 31,930 passengers and 14 ships; P&O Cruises (U.K.), 19,020 passengers and 6 ships; and Cunard, 6,830 passengers and 3 ships.6 The EA segment reported an operating loss of $696 million in Q3 FY 2021 compared to an operating loss of $465 million in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly revenue improved from -$4 million in the year-ago quarter to $232 million, comprising more than 42% of Carnival's total revenue.
The Cruise Support segment is comprised of Carnival's portfolio of port destinations and other services, which operate in support of the company's cruise brands.6 The segment reported an operating loss of $94 million in Q3 FY 2021 compared to an operating loss of $86 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter rose 14 times to $14 million, accounting for less than 3% of total revenue.
Tour and Other
The Tour and Other segment is comprised of Carnival's tour company, Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, which operates in Alaska and the Canadian northwest territory of Yukon. The tour company owns and operates hotels, lodges, glass-domed railcars, and buses. It complements the company's Alaska cruise operations. The Tour and Other segment reported an operating loss of $10 million in Q3 FY 2021 compared to an operating loss of $11 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 40.0% year over year (YOY) to $28 million, accounting for about 5% of companywide revenue in the third quarter.
Carnival's Recent Developments
On Sept. 29, 2021, Carnival announced that the cruise ship Seabourn Encore will return to service on Feb. 19, 2022, about two months earlier than expected. The ship is part of the operations of Seabourn, the company's ultra-luxury ocean and expedition travel brand. The Seabourn Encore will offer a series of 10- and 11-day itineraries to the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean from Lisbon, Portugal. The return of Seabourn Encore will be the third ship in Seabourn's fleet to resume guest operations.
Financial Performance 3rd Quarter 2021
Financial Performance 2020
Financial Performance 2019
Carnival Annual Report 2020
Carnival Annual Report 2019
NEW YORK (AP) — Come visit the Maldives, its president entreated the world at this year’s United Nations General Assembly, moments before switching to an impassioned plea for help combating climate change. The adjacent appeals illustrated a central dilemma for many small island developing states: their livelihoods, or their lives?
The United Nations recognizes 38 member states, scattered across the world’s waters, as small island developing states grouped together because they face “unique social, economic and environmental challenges.”
This bloc is particularly vulnerable to climate change. This bloc is also particularly dependent on tourism — a significant driver of climate change, accountable for 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions alone, according to sustainable tourism expert Stefan Gössling — and an industry devastated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The predicament these islands find themselves in is essentially recursive: Attract tourism for economic survival, which in turn contributes to climate change, which in turn bleaches the colorful reefs and destroys the pristine beaches that attract tourists. As is, by the end of the century, these low-lying islands could drown entirely.
“The difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees is a death sentence for the Maldives,” President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih told the U.N. General Assembly last week.
The annual summit is an opportunity for each of the international body’s 193 members to step into the spotlight on the world stage. But the Maldives — perhaps best known globally as an Indian Ocean playground for moneyed honeymooners and Bollywood celebrities — had a particularly high-profile platform this year. Its foreign minister is serving as the General Assembly’s president and Solih was speaking third overall — just after U.S. President Joe Biden.
But the climate change appeals are nothing new, made year after year as these islands are pummeled by storms and the seas rise like a “slow-moving killer,” as Colgate University’s April Baptiste puts it.
Baptiste, a professor of environmental studies as well as Africana and Latin American studies, researches environmental justice in the Caribbean region. She says the island states’ appeals had gone ignored for years because they were essentially seen as “dispensable.” With little land, political power and financial capital, it was easy to overlook their plight. These are also islands with a history of exploitation that dates back centuries and states whose full-time residents — not tourists — are primarily Black and brown.
“You have that layer of race, racism, marginality to take into consideration,” she said. “I absolutely believe that’s at the heart of the conversation as to why small island developing states are not taken seriously.”
People and governments have taken matters into their own hands over recent years.
One man from the island nation of Kiribati sought refugee status in New Zealand on the basis that climate change posed an existential threat to his homeland, though he was eventually deported. This past week, Vanuatu announced it would seek to bring climate change before the International Court of Justice. Although largely symbolic — any ruling would not be legally binding — the move, as intended by the government, seeks to clarify international law.
Last month, a group of Pacific island nations — contending with encroaching saltwater that destroys crops and pollutes freshwater supplies — took the step of declaring their traditional sea boundaries would remain intact, even if their coastlines shrank beneath the waves.
Gössling, a professor at Sweden’s Linnaeus University School of Business and Economics, and Daniel Scott, a geography and environmental management professor at Canada’s University of Waterloo, are two creators of the Climate Change Vulnerability Index for Tourism. With the aim of bringing the issue to policymakers’ attention, they identified the countries with tourism economies most at risk from climate change. The small island developing states made up a substantial portion of the list.
“The Maldives identified this years ago and they pointed out: ’We’re going to continue our tourism development, because that’s the only way we can make money in the next couple decades before our islands are lost,” Scott said.
For the small island developing states, this central climate change tension between lives and livelihood is mirrored in their response to the coronavirus pandemic. To prevent the virus’ spread and save lives, they closed their borders, and their tourism-focused economies were accordingly ravaged over the past 18 months.
Mauritius isn’t wholly dependent on tourism, but that sector does make up a significant amount of its foreign revenue, the permanent representative to the United Nations for the tiny Indian Ocean island east of Madagascar says. Its borders fully reopen in October, and Jagdish Koonjul said Mauritius hopes to attract 650,000 tourists between then and next summer.
Mauritius, Koonjul said, is “very lucky” compared to others in the bloc because of its economic diversification, relatively high land and coral reef that prevents erosion.
But it’s not safe from climate change. Mauritius and other small island developing states are looking to the bigger, more industrialized countries to buy into an ambitious commitment at the upcoming United Nations climate conference in Glasgow.
“We miss this train now, and we are doomed,” Koonjul said.
The scores of speeches at this year’s U.N. General Assembly tended to follow a rubric. They opened with pleasantries directed at the General Assembly’s president and then touched on a laundry list of topics: perhaps a pet issue, but definitely conflict, coronavirus and climate change. The rhetoric often blended together, but the speeches from the leaders of the small island developing states — with the most to lose in the near future — stood out with stark eloquence echoing Koonjul.
“Will Tuvalu remain a member state of the U.N. if it is finally submerged? Who will help us?” asked Kausea Natano, the prime minister of the Pacific Ocean country, on Saturday.
The states had specific asks, including immediate and significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, debt restructuring and financial assistance — especially given the impact of the coronavirus on their tourism-dependent economies.
“Industrialized countries have an obligation to assist the states most affected by climate change because they created a problem in the first instance,” Gaston Browne, prime minister of the Caribbean Sea’s Antigua and Barbuda, said Saturday.
The same day, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves cast the major powers’ actions thus far as little more than “pious mouthings and marginal tinkering.”
“On this, humanity is at the midnight hour. Can we meet the challenge? We may not live to find out the answer if the usual continues,” the Caribbean nation’s premier said.
Salvaging the economic fate of these countries is complex. Baptiste says there’s no overarching policy aimed at retraining people whose livelihoods are vulnerable in new trades.
And Gössling argues that, while they’re not the culprits behind global warming, the small island developing states aren’t directly confronting the friction between climate change prevention measures and their tourism reliance.
“I also think there’s never been serious efforts by the SIDS to actually also consider different economic sectors, because very often it’s been very self-evident that you would focus on tourism, you would develop for tourism and that you, by definition, then almost would become dependent on tourism,” he said. “And I think the strange thing — this conflict has never been vocalized by SIDS.”
What has been vocalized is a clarion call for substantive action taken by rich, developed countries. Now that the ramifications of climate change have reached countries that could long pretend it didn’t exist, the small island developing states hope the message is finally getting through.
The poet John Donne wrote that “no man is an island entire of itself.” In the same vein, Solih drove home the point the island nations have been making for years: “There is no guarantee of survival for any one nation in a world where the Maldives cease to exist.”
The average spend by air visitors to Mexico is up by 6.5% in 2021 compared to the same seven months of 2019.
According to INEGI (Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics, Geography, and Informatics) the average spend by visitors arriving by air to Mexico has increased by 6.5% from US$1,018.09 for the first seven months of 2019 to US$1,084.27 for the first seven months of 2021.
Typically, visitors arriving by air make up 20% of all visitors travelling to Mexico (both by air and by land) but constitute 80% of all tourist spending.
The average spend by air visitors increased substantially in June 2021 (up 24.2%) and in July 2021 (up 14.9%), both compared with the same months of 2019.
The number of visitors arriving by air has shown steady growth since February 2021 and in July Mexico received 1,627,534 visitors arriving by air 94.0% of the 1,731,225 air visitors seen in July 2019.
With the higher average spend per air visitor Mexico saw the total spend by air visitors reach US$1.661 billion in June and US$1.871 billion in July 2021, 6.6% and 8.0% respectively higher than the total spend by air visitors seen in June and July 2019.
While the total spend by air visitors for the first seven months of 2021 was US$8.135 billion, down 34% compared with the US$12.355 billion achieved in the first seven months of 2019, visitor spending is at least trending in a positive direction.
Monthly trip searches were up 70% over the summer compared to earlier in the year according to Expedia Group Media Solutions Q2 Travel Recovery Trend Report, and the company reported seeing positive signals continue into the fall.
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Cruise News Update
So is it all going to plan as cruise lines continue to move forward on resuming cruise operations? Well for Carnival Cruise Line it doesn’t seem to be so smooth. We’ve got updates on the next batch of Carnival ships that are restarting, protocol changes from Carnival and Disney Cruise Line.
And even P&O Cruises planning to have two ships in the Caribbean before the end of the year along with a big day for Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, which is restarting operations. Plenty to get through.
Five Carnival Ships to Restart Through November and December
So let’s start with the big news from the week with Carnival Cruise Line announcing which ships will be resuming operations through November and December. It’s not all gone to plan as just five Carnival ships will return through the two months. The fleet won’t be fully back in action before the end of the year which was the first hope.
Carnival Valor will follow Carnival Glory in New Orleans with four- and five-night sailings starting on Nov. 1;
Carnival Legend will restart Nov. 14 out of Baltimore, replacing Carnival Pride, which restarts guest operations from Baltimore Sept. 12 and then moves its homeport to Tampa following a Panama Canal repositioning cruise;
Carnival Radiance will have a new maiden voyage date of Dec. 13 out of Long Beach (rescheduled from Nov. 5 due to a revised dry dock transformation plan);
Carnival Pride’s new service from Tampa is scheduled to start on Nov. 14;
Carnival Conquest’s restart from Miami on Oct. 8 has been rescheduled to Dec. 13;
Carnival Sensation’s Oct. 21 restart from Mobile has been moved to Jan. 2022
Five vessels in total will return in 2022, including Carnival Liberty out of Port Canaveral, Carnival Sunshine from Charleston, Carnival Paradise from Tampa, Carnival Ecstasy out of Jacksonville, and Carnival Sensation out of Mobile. That does mean further cancellations as those ships remain on hold longer than expected.
Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit, based out of Australia, are to remain on hold through December 16 as the cruise line continues to work with the government on a safe return down under.
Carnival Cruise Line Updates Protocols
Carnival Cruise Line also provides an update on its protocols to align more with recent updates by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and new rapid testing sites at all of its homeports.
The cruise line will continue to follow CDC guidelines to make sure guests and crew remain safe. Guests will have to present proof of vaccination and a negative test at check-in, something which is already in place for current departures.
However, Carnival plans to make it easier by setting up mobile pre-cruise rapid testing sites at all of its homeports. The full details are still to come, but this will make it easier for those struggling to get tested before their cruise.
On August 29, 2021, the CDC updated its Conditional Sailing Order, including adjustments to testing, which now needs to be completed within two days before sailing rather than the previous three days. Carnival now says, “Effective with sailings as of September 13, 2021, the CDC requires pre-cruise testing for vaccinated guests to be taken within two days prior to the sailing date. If the sailing is on Saturday, the test may be taken on Thursday and Friday, and as late as Saturday, if you are guaranteed to receive your results in time for check-in.”
Two P&O Cruise Ships to Sail the Caribbean
P&O Cruises plans to have two ships sailing the Caribbean before the end of the year. The cruise line has experienced a hugely successful summer return with the launch of its newest flagship Iona and its popular summer seacations onboard Britannia. The cruise line is ready to expand its cruises and has chosen to do this in the Caribbean with Britannia and Azura.
Britannia will set off on her transatlantic voyage from Southampton in southern England on October 22. The vessel will take 14 days to sail to the Southern Caribbean island of Barbados before she starts the first of a series of 14-day cruises in the Caribbean.
Azura will be the second ship sailing the Caribbean for the UK-based cruise line. Starting December 10, the cruise ship will also be sailing from Barbados on 14-day itineraries that include ports of call such as Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Bonaire, Dominica, and Martinique.
P&O Cruises are not yet sailing with the entire fleet and will not do so this year. Aurora is currently scheduled to return in February of next year and Arcadia is scheduled to return to sailing in March of next year.
Plenty to look forward to and this will be the first chance British cruisers will be able to enjoy a cruise in the Caribbean since the suspension started in 2020.
Disney Wonder Restart Announced
Disney Cruise Line has announced the restart date for Disney Wonder and an update to its protocols. The ship will start operations on October 1 on an itinerary that will feature three-night sailings from San Diego with a stop at Ensenada, Mexico, and a day at sea, while 4-night sailings will feature two days at sea and a stop at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Disney Cruise Line has returned to the U.S. with Disney Dream’s 3- and 4-night itineraries out of Florida. Disney Fantasy will resume on September 11. The cruise line will only be visiting Castaway Cay for the time being with both ships.
However, the recent policy changes from the Bahamian government mean that the cruise line had to require all guests to be vaccinated on cruises to the Bahamas, just like other cruise lines. It’s also due to updated guidelines issued on August 27, 2021, from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For cruises departing from San Diego in October, Disney Cruise Line now requires all guests of 12 years and older to be fully vaccinated 14 days before boarding. Guests 11 years old and younger do not have to be vaccinated but should provide proof of a negative test. On November 5, Disney Wonder will depart for a 14-day voyage that will take guests through the Panama Canal to Galveston from San Diego. Disney has made some significant changes for this voyage, requiring all guests of all ages to be fully vaccinated.
One more health policy change for guests onboard for cruises to the Bahamas between September 3 and November 1. The Bahamas requires all cruise ship passengers to be fully vaccinated or provide a negative PCR test if 11 years or younger. To comply, Disney Cruise Line has now said that all guests 12 years and older should be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine.
On and after September 13 all guests of all ages, whether vaccinated or not, are required to take a test administered at the terminal before embarkation.
With so many changes depending on where ships are departing from, do make sure you check the cruise line site for all the details before your cruise so you don’t miss any adjustments.
Oasis of the Seas Restarting Operations
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is finally restarting cruise operations and will be the first to do so out of the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey. So the cruise ship is departing on September 5 on a seven-night Bahamas sailing including calls at Port Canaveral, Florida; the cruise line’s private island of Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas; and Nassau, also in the Bahamas. The ship will arrive back in New Jersey on September 12.
Oasis of the Seas will continue to sail seven-night Bahamas cruises and will also begin seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in November 2021. Including Oasis of the Seas, 14 Royal Caribbean ships have restarted operations which is more than half the fleet. Liberty fo the Seas will be next with cruises from Galveston, Texas starting on October 3.
Carnival Glory Cruise Cancelled
With Hurricane Ida having a huge impact on New Orleans, Carnival Cruise Line has canceled Carnival Glory’s September 5th departure. The main reason was at the time, the city was still under emergency management and the channel leading towards the cruise terminal remained closed.
Carnival Glory’s first return cruise from New Orleans was scheduled to depart on September 5 on a seven-day voyage, including calls at Bimini, Freeport, and Nassau, all in the Bahamas. The ship will now restart from the Port of New Orleans on Sunday, September 12.
Carnival is allowing impacted guests to transfer to the Carnival Vista sailing departing the Port of Galveston in Texas on Saturday, September 4, 2021. Guests will have to be fully vaccinated to be allowed to transfer. Unfortunately, those under the vaccine exemption won’t be allowed to transfer their booking to the Carnival Vista but are being asked to contact Carnival about their options.
Since the cancellation was first announced, the Carnival Glory has already returned to the port and is currently making preparations for its restart on September 12. That cruise will be a seven-day Western Caribbean itinerary with stops at Mahogany Bay, Belize, and Cozumel, along with three sea days. The Conquest-class vessel will become the ninth ship in the fleet to resume operations and the first out of New Orleans since suspensions first began in March 2020.
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.