Cruise sailings have been suspended at least through September 30, 2020, yet the cruise lines continue to come under fire for current and previous operations.
The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) President and CEO Zane Kerby says that this needs to stop.
In an opinion piece on LinkedIn, Kerby wrote in response to a negative attack article on cruising and an ad by the CDC in a local paper. Both, he believes, target cruise lines unfairly.
“We’re conditioning American travelers to believe that cruising is ‘bad’ and then looking the other way when industry leaders point to real solutions that could mitigate the risks for travelers,” Kerby wrote. “We can no longer avoid the conversation surrounding the fact that our own government is not helping where it can and should. Rather–our own government is shirking responsibility and playing an active role in bringing the travel industry to its knees.”
He also points out that ASTA itself has petitioned the Administration and the CDC for guidance on cruising. Kerby says that the association expected information on rapid-response testing, capacity levels onboard, recommendations for sailing to private islands rather than populated ports and more.
Instead, he says, there has been no public response and notes that “what’s most disturbing about the ad and article is that it takes the focus from where it should be-solutions.”
“Rather than target an industry that has been idle for months, the CDC should review its guidance protocols to immediately focus on activities that are actually taking place and are actually spreading the virus,” Kerby suggests. “Maybe then the infection and death rate would both mercifully go down.”
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