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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic almost two years ago, the cruise industry has born the brunt of criticism and oversight, particularly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
And an argument could be made to support that logic, as many boats had numerous cases of the virus and became superspreaders on the water.
But that was two years ago.
Enough is now enough says Julia Simpson, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
Speaking at the Fitur Trade Fair in Madrid, Simpson called out the CDC for what she said was unfair and one-sided scrutiny.
"While we welcome the expiration of the CDC's conditional sail order, its decision to continue elevated travel health notices is nonsensical," Simpson said in a statement.
The CDC said earlier this month it would lift its conditional sail order when it was due to be renewed on January 15. The government agency said it would allow cruise lines to transition into a voluntary program.
Nonetheless, the CDC three weeks ago said it was investigating 92 ships for COVID or potential infections, leading to speculation that the agency was singling out just the cruise industry.
Simpson said that cruise lines have been extremely proactive when it comes to safety.
"The cruise industry has proven time and again that its enhanced health and safety protocols consistently achieve significantly lower rates of COVID-19 occurrence than onshore," she said.
That led the WTTC chief to take the CDC to task.
"WTTC calls upon the CDC to stop singling out the cruise industry with harmful and unnecessary measures," she said. "Cruise lines have an excellent record for health and safety, and cruising continues to offer extraordinary travel experiences."
Rich Thomaselli has written for TravelPulse since 2014 and has been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. His work has...
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