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Cruise ship tourism losses to $100 million

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 00:49:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Cruise ship cancellations amid the Coronavirus pandemic have cost the region more than $100 million in lost economic activity, according to the Port of San Diego.

The Port says since March, 75 cruises have canceled, meaning a $116 million loss in retail, restaurant, lodging and related transportation and shipping services. The 2020-2021 season, which was supposed to start Sept. 13, has already seen 49 cancellations.

"When it’s safe for sailings to resume, we will do what we can to work with and support our cruise and public health partners to ensure the safety of cruise passengers, terminal staff, and the public," the Port said in a statement.

The loss is hitting tourism-related businesses, already suffering from a loss of conventions, and social distancing restrictions. Chuck Abbott, general manager of the Intercontinental Hotel San Diego, just steps from the terminal, said cruisers usually stay a night pre or post cruise.

"It's still an amount of business that comes, which is beneficial," he said. "They're on leisure, and those people usually like to dine out and enjoy things."

The CDC has halted cruising through at least Sept. 30. If that expires, San Diego's next arrival would be Nov. 5 through the Carnival Miracle.

Some European cruise lines have once again started sailing, with capacity limits and social distancing restrictions. Doug Shupe, of the Auto Club of Southern California, said there is pent up demand for cruising, so once people feel safe, he expects bookings to be robust.