In April, Mexico turned one year without receiving cruise ships. According to the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), in the first quarter of 2020 a decrease began to be felt with the arrival of 858 vessels, a contraction of 10.4% against 958 between January and March of the previous year; while passengers amounted to 2,287,962, but with a decrease of 15.4% compared to 2,704,538 in the first quarter of 2020.
Except for some cruise ships that arrived after March of last year, mainly to Puerto Vallarta to carry out humanitarian bridges and repatriate both crew members and passengers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no tourist arrivals have been registered again.
The industry collapsed globally and Mexico was no exception. Data from the Bank of Mexico reflect zero income from cruise passengers in the country for a year, from April 2020 to April 2021.
To put it in perspective, in 2019 the country received a total of 825.43 million dollars (mdd) from visitors on cruise ships; While in 2020 only $ 212.37 million were registered, which translates into a 74.2% drop, according to the agency.
Even the SCT, in its latest statistical report as of March 2021, highlighted that “it is important to mention that cruise activity continues without movement worldwide because the COVID-19 pandemic is still present.”
However, the industry is beginning to revive. The ports of the United States declare themselves ready to start related tourism activities and are confident that Canada will soon end the restrictions, according to information from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).
In the case of Mexico, the port operator SSA Mexico recently reported on the return of cruise ships to its terminal in Cozumel, the main cruise destination in the country, after the Royal Caribbean Cruises shipping company notified it of the date of June 12 to the reboot.
In a statement, he explained that the cruise ships will continue to arrive at this port with their weekly itineraries. The first ship is the Adventure of the Seas with a length of 312 meters, in which 12 decks are distributed in various levels and capacity in normal conditions for up to 3,900 passengers.
“The SSA Mexico International Terminal, on the Island of Cozumel, specialized in the reception of cruise ships, has been selected as the first tourist destination for the reopening of cruise navigation to Mexico, with which we feel honored and ready to give you welcome in this long-awaited return ”, emphasized the port operator.
Based on information from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), 70% of Cozumel’s GDP is made up of the cruise industry. Only 371 cruise ships arrived at this destination in 2020, which, compared to 1,366 in 2019, show 72.8% less; while there was a 75.2% drop in passengers with 1,132,101, compared to 4,569,853 the previous year.