Help Travel Agencies and the Canadian Economy - Remove the Canadian Cruise Ban

Help Travel Agencies and the Canadian Economy - Remove the Canadian Cruise Ban

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Feb 4, 2021, the Canadian Government announced the continuation of the cruise ship ban until February 2022. 

We, as Travel Advisors, understand and appreciate the Canadian Government’s focus on overcoming COVID-19.  However banning all cruising to Canadian ports until 2022 will have serious if not irreversible impacts on businesses, livelihoods, jobs and mental health. We are urging the Canadian government to work with the cruise Stakeholders including CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) and the cruise lines themselves to focus on measures that will see this ban lifted. CLIA, along with all of our cruise line suppliers have been focusing on implementing protocols, recommended to them by leading experts in health and science.  These multifaceted protocols not only protect cruise line passengers, and the crew, but also protects the ports and their citizens. Safety is their top priority and the cruise lines have been very busy the past several months implementing, training and testing the protocols. They are backed by science and have seen success in parts of Europe and Asia where cruising has resumed on a limited basis. The pandemic has already had tragic consequences for many travel advisors, tour operators, excursion operators, stores, hotels, restaurants and many more.  To extend this ban so far into the future takes away hope of recovery for many and will likely decimate our economy.    

As reported by CLIA "In 2019, the cruise industry generated a total of $4.25 billion in economic activity in Canada, a 33% increase from 2016. Moreover, growth in economic activity was accompanied by an increase in industry-supported jobs. In 2019, the cruise industry supported 29,000 Canadian jobs paying $1.43 billion in wages in 2019—a 26% increase in employment and 43% increase in wages since 2016."

This ban is devastating to Vancouver and the West Coast as the Port of Vancouver is responsible for bringing over $840 Million dollars into the Canadian economy. Also this ban, will shut down the entire Alaska season for a 2nd year, which will not only affect revenues for both Canada and the US but will also destroy many small businesses along the way. Equally as devastating though is the impact on Eastern Canada as 22 out of the 27 ports in Canada are located there, generating much of the $4.25 billion in economic activity.  This will have serious impacts to the Canada/New England cruise season as well for the 2nd year in a row.  There is no question that the economic and physical landscapes of these popular ports will be forever changed as will the livelihoods of over 29,000 Canadians who rely on this industry.

We urge you Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Alghabra to work with the cruise lines and their stakeholders to find a resolution that allows this ban to be lifted, so those of us, in these highly impacted industries have some hope of recovery.

 

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