Following the news that Virgin Voyages claims its air purification system can kill 99.9% of viruses, industry experts and analysts offered their view on the current situation:
A total 48% of respondents globally want to receive news about initiatives adopted by brands during the COVID-19 pandemic period, according to the latest COVID-19 Consumer Survey, while 52% are interested in tips about health and wellbeing. This makes the two topics the most popular among respondents. Virgin Voyages’ new air purification system on-board its ships will help to satisfy these criteria and reassure customers that cruise ships are safe.
One of the main concerns surrounding the return of cruise ships is the close proximity of passengers, allowing the virus to spread easily. An air purification system that claims to kill 99.9% of all viruses will help to lay some of these concerns to rest.
Although this is clearly a step in right direction, it alone will not be enough to allay consumers’ concerns. Virgin Voyages is trying to remedy this by introducing protocols that will be implemented throughout the ship, including virtual queues and other contactless technology, reduced ship capacity, virus testing for passengers and crew and thermal monitoring cameras. These protocols will ensure that social distancing is maintained throughout the entire voyage and crew are made aware if someone on-board contracts the virus.
Virgin Voyages is not alone and many cruise companies are initiating similar protocols. However, the real test will be when cruise companies resume sailing. Only if the procedures put in place are successful and there are no major outbreaks of COVID-19 on-board cruises will customers begin to regain confidence in the industry.