Leading members of the cruise industry have praised Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s words of support for the sector.

During the daily coronavirus briefing held on Wednesday (11 June), the PM was asked by a journalist based in Southampton about what the government was doing to protect jobs in the sector, which are now at risk following the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent suspension of sailings.

This was highlighted last month when Carnival UK, the parent company of P&O Cruises and Cunard, confirmed plans to make a large number of redundancies in the port city of Southampton.

The PM replied: “Like all industries, the cruise industry is going to have to go through – in the short-term at least – a period of self-reinvention to make sure it is Covid-secure.

“I have no doubt that it can do it. It’s a great British sector and we will support it in any way we can.”

Following the address, Leading cruise industry body CLIA released a statement saying it welcomed the PM’s words of support.

CLIA UK & Ireland director, Andy Harmer, said: “The Prime Minister’s words of support for the cruise industry are very welcome.

The cruise industry voluntarily suspended operations as it was the right thing to do while the world addressed the global health crisis.

However, the impact of this suspension is being felt heavily not only by cruise lines but by people whose livelihoods depend upon the cruise industry, such as travel agents, tour operators, taxi drivers, and hoteliers.

“As the Prime Minister has said, the cruise industry is a ‘great British industry’.  The industry generates £10 billion to the UK economy each year. It is also a resilient industry.

“We are currently working closely with the government, health authorities and ports to develop even more enhanced health protocols as we plan for the future resumption of operations.

“We look forward to playing our part in the country’s economic recovery.”

Visit cruising.org for more information.