MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago has used his appearance at the G20 Summit to call for rapid testing technology and “harmonised” Covid-19 protocols to revive the global travel sector.
Vago addressed a meeting of tourism ministers from 20 of the richest countries in the world when he talked about MSC’s experiences of relaunching cruises in the Mediterranean in August.
“The core element of the protocol is our universal testing of all guests and crew before embarkation to create a sterile and safe bubble, which protects them throughout their time with us,” said Vago during the virtual event held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“We are now in the midst of our eighth sailing with a second vessel due to restart later this month with a longer itinerary, and we have safely carried 16,000 guests.”
Vago added the line had denied boarding to more than 100 passengers who had either tested positive for Covid-19 themselves or travelled with somebody who had tested positive, as well as those who did not have the correct medical paperwork or broke MSC’s protocols.
“Thanks to our protocol and other similar ones, cruise ships could be considered possibly amongst the safest holidays anywhere in the world, and there is no reason why other forms of travel and holiday cannot be as safe,” stressed Vago.
“I hope that the data we have accrued and the harmonisation of protocols across the entire transport, hospitality and tourism industry can be the way forward to work with authorities around the world as testing becomes more available.”