The new normal is not a new phrase, but how the world defines what will, and won’t be part of future travel is changing by the minute. Looking at what will be a part of “normal”, when that’s even a vaguely familiar concept one day, one trend that’s quickly emerged is that cruise ships are persona non grata in many countries, and may not be welcomed for a very long time. The Seychelles just introduced a 2 year ban on cruises, shortly after the USA placed a 100 day ban on all cruise activity.
Seychelles 2021 Cruise Ship Ban
Seychelles Tourism Minister Didier Dogley wasted no time, and mixed no words, stating no cruise ships will sail in our out of Port Victoria until 2022, at the earliest. The move, effective immediately cuts a significant angle of tourism out of the Seychelles tourism economy, but the minister believes there are safer, better ways to recover them.
“It is to be noted that the cruise industry has been a major catalyst by which the COVID-19 has spread throughout the world”. – Ronny Brutus, CEO Seychelles Ports
Like many countries, the Seychelles is looking to attract a style of traveler which contributes more to the local economy, when the sun kissed islands reopen the international airport in Mahe. Cruise visitors spend less than 50% on average to other tourism guests, thanks to buffets and lodging on board.
The Seychelles will look to capitalize on overnight guests as it attracts an increasing flow of luxury travelers seeking escape, albeit with a price tag lower than the Maldives. With direct flights increasing regularly, the island is less dependent on the promised flow of cruise guests, and citing cruises as a major spread of covid-19, the island wants nothing to do with them, at least for another couple years.
Cruise travel will undoubtedly remain one of the worst hit sectors in travel, as tourism boards from Greece to Australia look at creating more sustainable and locally beneficial travel models, which bring overnight guests who eat, drink, sleep and shop on their streets, rather than stretch their legs.
It may not be fair, it may be a new era of classism in travel, but it’s happening…