While some countries, including Italy and Croatia, have let cruises continue under specific conditions, France and Monaco still won’t let the industry set sail.
Letting cruise ships anchor in Monaco is out of the question, says Monaco’s Government. Back in March, the Government has stressed how difficult it is to cure people if an outbreak occurs on a cruise ship.
In December, the caution remains the same and there are currently no plans of reopening Monaco to the cruising industry.
The decision has hit hard Monaco’s travel agencies. Some of them, which offer mainly cruises, have seen their activity fall by 70%, reports French news website LaQuotidienne.fr.
In nearby France, travel agencies are not faring much better. In fact, the National Union of Travel Agencies reports an 80% drop in activity from 15 March to the end of October 2020. In November, French travel agencies had more trip reimbursement requests than bookings.
The crisis will continue in 2021
With overall losses reaching a billion euros in 2020, some travel agencies will not be able to survive. Furthermore, an uncertain recovery during 2021 will only accentuate the impact on the Monégasque economy. In Monaco, faced with a 90% drop in business, the Cruiseline agency has had no choice but to activate a redundancy plan and lay off staff.
The cruising industry brings a yearly 300,000 visitors to Monaco. Their absence now impacts the whole of the Principality’s economic fabric, including hotels, shops, restaurants, and cultural sites, such as the Oceanographic Museum.