National destinations such as Los Cabos, Ensenada, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta will be the setting for Royal Caribbean cruise trips starting in November.
The cruise industry has suffered a nearly 15-month standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic despite its contribution of $ 480 million, however, global vaccination begins to drive reservations and the creation of new routes to the main Mexican destinations.
“It was a very complicated year and the Bank of Mexico confirmed that the cruise industry contributed about 480 million dollars and within this context, it is estimated that Mexico stopped receiving up to 21 million tourists annually,” explained Alberto Muñoz, vice president of Royal Caribbean for Latin America in an interview for Forbes Mexico .
However, on June 16 Royal Caribbean arrived in Cozumel to reactivate cruise activity and continues with an itinerary that puts Mexican destinations at the center.
“Since last July 2, Royal Caribbean has restarted operations leaving from the United States with our ship Freedom of the Seas; We are leaving for the Bahamas and the most important thing is that it is the beginning of six ships that will be leaving from Florida and Texas. We hope that by the end of August we will have 12 cruises departing from the US, The Bahamas, Europe and Singapore, “he added.
Likewise, national destinations such as Los Cabos, Ensenada, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta will be the scene of cruise trips and its announcement has already attracted the attention of travel agencies located in Chile, Colombia, Peru and Brazil, according to the manager.
Only in Puerto Vallarta this represents an economic income of approximately $ 500,000 a year and for Los Cabos up to $ 640,000.
“We are expanding in Mexico as a destination and from November we will have itineraries that will leave from Los Angeles to reach ports such as Los Cabos, Ensenada, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta .”
According to data from the Bank of Mexico from January to May 2021, this industry has had zero income; In the same period of 2020, the accumulated income from international cruise tourists amounted to 182.3 million dollars (million dollars), which represented a fall of 36.7% compared to the 288.2 million dollars registered in the same period of 2019.
For its part, the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) added a total of 798 arrivals to Mexican ports from January 1 to December 6, 2020, with a total of 2,287,078 passengers.
“We are in a moment of business rebound, for six weeks we have had a very positive trend from all Latin American countries and Mexico, in the latter we have a very important presence in brand positioning and a very robust clientele”
Currently Royal Caribbean manages a cruise occupancy of between 45 to 50% conditional on the departure point or the regulation of each state or country; In the case of Seattle or Galveston, the Covid-19 vaccine is required and in others such as Florida, navigation with a negative test is allowed.
“They are requesting the official documents that each country can provide within the perspective of the vaccines accepted by the World Health Organization and with the receipt or passport that some countries have digitized.”
Likewise, the manager highlighted that they created protocols focused on the change of air conditioning and ventilation where a cabin cleans the air 20 times per hour, they adopted the use of FDA-approved medical-grade cleaning products, as well as the expansion of staff and medical facilities.
“The expert plan at the level of a contingency that has been customized according to each destination that is visited. If there is any contingency in the Bahamas, it is different from how it is going to be handled in Barcelona or Florida, “concluded Muñoz.