At a conference last week, Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, spoke of the ‘Trump effect’.
He stated: ‘Customers are happy, the economy is doing well- we’ve had the ‘Trump effect’- the stock market is at an all-time high. We’ve not had an external shocks to the system. All systems are go and I think all of us are seeing that in bookings and pricing- it’s going to be a great year’.
‘In terms of the so-called ‘Trump effect’, the stock market is up nearly 20% since Trump’s election- 13% since the beginning of the year. That has to be great for business’.
The conference heard that a total of 74 new ships will be built in the next decade, equating to more than $50 billion in investments from the cruise lines.
Other names that joined the event was Arnold Donald, president and chief executive of Carnival Corporation; Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive of Royal Caribbean Cruises; and Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises.
Fain stated: ‘People do not understand the economic impact that the cruise industry has. Clia does an economic analysis and last year they published that the industry is responsible for 350,000 jobs just in the US. When you have that kind of economic impact, governments tend to want to encourage it rather than discourage it’.
Regarding the possibility of Trump revisiting the relationship with Cuba and cruise ships using it as a port of call, the panel pressed that they would like to see the relationship maintained.
Del Rio said: ‘I’m all for lifting the embargo, it’s been a failed policy for 57 years. All of us are going to Cuba- it’s a major market that could develop over time. It has infrastructure limitations today but certainly it could be major in the cruise business for years to come and I hope the administration can see that potential.’
Donald added: ‘For us, as long as it’s not rolled back we’ll continue to go forward. I think the embargo being lifted would be best for America and the cruise business. We’re just honoured and privileged to be able to sail there and have others follow’.
Fain noted the significance of the cruise industry being ‘so much at the centre’ of the discussion around Cuba: ‘That tells us something about the importance of the industry. No one is talking about it being great for the hotel or airline industry.’
What do you think? Do you agree with the positive effect the new US President has had on figures? What does the ‘Trump effect’ mean to you?
What are your thoughts on the news? Do you believe the ‘Trump effect’ could have a positive impact on the cruise industry this year? Do you only see a negative impact ahead? Do you have your own concerns for the future of cruising? Leave us your comments…
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