Cruise ships are bringing tourists back to the Pacific, but at what cost?

Prior to the pandemic, cruise ships increasingly took tourists to some of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

Nearly 30 million passengers boarded a cruise ship in 2019, nearly double the number from a decade earlier, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

The largest cruise ship ever built – a floating city that can accommodate more than 9,000 guests and crew – is currently cruising the Mediterranean, and Australia has lifted its COVID-19 ban on cruise ships – the industry is confident of a quick recovery.

But behind the dreamy photographs and blue horizons lies a less glamorous reality — a growing concern about environmental disruption, carbon emissions and benefits to the local economy.

Vanuatu will open its borders to foreign tourists traveling by air in July, but a date for the resumption of cruise tourism has not yet been set.(Unsplash: Fabio Hanashiro)

Vanuatu, one of the largest cruise markets in the South Pacific, has not yet set a date for the resumption of international cruises.

When they return, the Vanuatu Tourism Authority wants to see some changes to the operation of international cruise lines.

“We would like to see an increase in sales of Vanuatu-made products on board… and the inclusion of traditional gastronomic experiences on any tours offered once cruises return to Vanuatu,” said Adela Issachar, CEO of the Vanuatu Tourism Authority. .


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