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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Cruises 2021. Is that what recovery looks like?

After the disaster of 2020, many had hoped last year that 2021 would bring normality back to the cruise industry.

What does it actually look like?

The ocean-going cruise ships hope that almost 50% of the ships will be sailing by September 2021. With restrictions and fewer guests, it is a start. It is far from the hoped-for normality when you consider that the first 9 months of the year are over and lost and more than 200 of the large ships are still not sailing and the lower number of guests has an impact on sales.

However, this also means that there are still 500,000 unemployed people who used to work for the industry.

River cruises could start earlier only here, too, far from the occupancy rate in 2019. Many of the qualified staff have turned their backs on the industry. Here, too, the capacity utilization, the ships operated on is around 50%.

A recovery can only happen very slowly also because the air lines that many guests have to fly in are still far away from the capacities. FRAPORT - operator of Frankfurt Airport has laid off 8000 employees who cannot be replaced quickly. Even now, when the load is very low, there are regular delays because the aircraft can no longer be loaded and supplied quickly enough.

The airline industry hopes for normality in 2024 at the earliest and only if all restrictions have been lifted by then can the cruise industry normalize too.

For cruising - the winter is not over!

But nature is happy that the pollution of the ocean liners paused at least a little.

Stephan Busch has an invaluable and diverse experience in the hospitality industry ranging from senior management positions with the most renowned hotel and resort companies to the project development - launch of operations, business development- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.

His expertise includes not only planning, opening and operating of hotels, international golf clubs, airports, resorts and cruise ships, but also successful restructuring and repositioning of businesses during the financial crisis in Asia.

Stephan Busch earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA and served many years as Academic Director / Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism at the State University for Humanities RGGU Moscow as well as the Swiss International University St. Petersburg.

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