Travel agency group calls CDC’s cruise warning a ‘gut reaction’: Travel Weekly

The CDC’s advice that Americans should avoid taking a cruise was a “gut reaction” aimed at the travel industry, said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby.

Zane Kerby

“Cruise is no more responsible for the spread of the omicron variant than travelers from southern Africa were at the start of the current crisis,” Kerby said in a statement released Wednesday. “But we continue to see knee-jerk reactions distinguishing travel from discriminatory treatment. Because the travel industry is more regulated than other activities, when the number of Covid cases increases or new variants emerge, trips suffer the consequences.”

He added: “It brings to mind the old adage, ‘If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. This pattern needs to stop.”

Like others in the industry, Kerby called on the US government to backtrack as it did with the travel ban on eight southern African countries when the omicron variant of Covid-19 started to spread. propagate.

Kerby argued that cruising is safer than visiting a grocery store or restaurant, citing guidelines put in place by cruise lines with consultation from the CDC, as well as protocols developed to respond to any outbreaks.

As further evidence, he also pointed to Royal Caribbean Group’s recent statement that its positivity rate since June 2021 was 0.02%, significantly lower than Alaska, the US state with the highest positivity rate. low (9.4% on January 4).

“At this point in the pandemic, the tools exist to allow us to fight this virus without crippling an entire sector of the American economy in the process,” Kerby said. “Let’s use them.”

Willie R. Golden