Suspension of cruises to cost UK economy £888 million

According to new data from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the 90-day suspension of cruises will cost the UK economy £888m and lead to the loss of 5,525 jobs and £287m in wages, The Telegraph has reported.

The Association represents more than 95 per cent of the world’s cruise fleet. Across the UK, the cruise industry supports 40,517 direct jobs paying £1.35bn in wages. These are the cruise line employees, both on board and shoreside.

Nearly a fifth of the 435,000 people employed in the businesses supported by the cruise industry across Europe are also based in the UK, paying £3.05bn in wages. These include an extensive supply chain featuring travel agencies, hotels, local transport operators, and port agents, and the industry also supports catering companies, including many small and family-run businesses providing specialist food produce.

Along with indirect jobs, the total predicted economic loss rises to GBP2.37bn, 13,788 jobs, and GBP746m in wages for a 90-day suspension. For every 1% drop in cruising in the UK, CLIA anticipates up to 530 jobs can be lost. Each day of the suspension results in the loss of 55 direct jobs and 139 total jobs in the UK, the report noted.

Andy Harmer, director, Clia UK and Ireland, said: ‘The cruise industry generates £10 billion for the UK economy each year. We understand the significant impact, therefore, that our decision to suspend operations has on the livelihoods of people who work in our sector, and on businesses that rely on the cruise industry in all parts of the country. Unfortunately, our research shows that for a 90-day suspension we can anticipate a loss of more than 5,525 UK jobs and an economic cost of £888 million to the UK.’

‘Choosing to suspend operations was the right thing to do, and we know the cruise industry is resilient. We have put public health at the heart of our response, and we will continue to respect the guidance from international and national health authorities. We are using this time to enhance further our protocols that we will all benefit from, and we look forward to playing our part in the recovery, when the time comes for society to travel once more.’

The report come as both P&O Cruises and Cunard extended their suspension of global operations until July 31 at least. Neither line had ruled out extending beyond that date. They had announced they were starting to shut down operations on March 16.