Arnold Donald, chief executive of Carnival Corporation, has called for a uniform approach to the reopening the tourism sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit, he explained: “We need uniformity and consistency around the world; we have health ministries, tourism ministries and travel ministries in governments and none of them are on the same page.
“We need a science-based, unform approach so that people can travel safely again.”
Carnival Corporation was forced to halt all sailings in March last year as the Covid-19 pandemic spread around the world and has yet to return in many markets.
The group currently expects six of its nine brands to resume limited guest cruise operations by this summer.
Aida resumed operations in March sailing in the Canary Islands, while Costa began sailing to Italian ports in May.
P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises will each offer a series of UK cruises this summer, while Seabourn expects to offer trips sailing from Greece.
However, negotiations are ongoing with the Centres for Disease Control & Prevention in the United States about the return of the sector in the key North American market.
Addressing around 600 in person delegates at the summit in Cancun, Mexico, Donald added: “The lowest point for us over the past year has been the negative impact on the Carnival family, our passengers, employees and our partners around the world.
“We have been paused since March, with zero revenue – and we have had to keep operating the ships throughout the year.”
Turning to the recovery, Donald concluded: “Tourism is still an exciting sector, and we cannot currently service the demand from passengers – it has a tremendously bright future.
“We will learn to manage Covid-19.
“Carnival had a positive story to tell; we raised $23.6 billion over the first months of the crisis, which is a significant amount for a company of our size.
“We went into this with a strong balance sheet, and thank goodness we did, and over time, we will return to a position of strength.”
The highly-anticipated WTTC Global Summit, organised in partnership with the government of Quintana Roo, is being held in Cancun until April 27th.
The showcase seeks to position itself as the leading tourism event in the calendar, where the highest-level industry leaders meet with key government representatives to act on the biggest issues across the international agenda.
This year, the summit will be exploring the challenges ahead and providing a platform for the recovery of the sector.
Find out more on the official website.