According to TUI Cruises, the demand for cruises will be back to normal – pre-coronavirus – levels within a year, The Telegraph has reported.
TUI, one of the world’s leading travel companies and the parent of UK and Ireland brand Marella Cruises, said that about half of passengers whose cruises have been cancelled have already rebooked.
TUI, which has invested heavily in cruises in recent years, was forced to cancel and delay itineraries due to the risks from the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Marella Cruises has already suspended cruise ship holidays until the June-end and will retire Marella Celebration earlier than planned.
TUI chief Wybcke Meier reportedly told The Telegraph that even as dozens of cruises had to be cancelled, she was positive that the business would bounce back quickly.
‘We are convinced that in the long-term the demand for premium and luxury cruises will not change,’ Meir said. ‘We will see the demand for cruises return to pre-crisis level within 12 to 18 months.’
Earlier, Which? alleged that the UK’s leading travel companies, including TUI, were failing in their legal duty to issue refunds on trips impacted by coronavirus within 14 days. Major travel companies and airlines were withholding up to £7billion worth of cash refunds on cancelled holidays, the consumer group said.
‘The Government must urgently set out how it will support travel firms and airlines to ensure they can meet their legal obligations to refund customers for cancelled travel plans – and avoid permanent damage to trust and confidence in the travel industry,’ Which? Travel Editor Rory Boland said.