Government sources have reportedly indicated that there currently are no plans to lift a ban on cruise ships operating from Irish ports, which has sparked fears that Ireland's cruise industry may not recover from the coronavirus pandemic for three to four years.
The ban on cruise ships operating out of Irish ports is part of efforts to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
As reported by The Irish Independent, Irish sailing and boating magazine Afloat said that many cruise industry professionals are now concerned that it will be 2023 before anything like normal operations resume in the industry, due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis.
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The cruise industry is worth an estimated €70 million to Ireland's economy, with 157,000 cruise passengers and 69,000 cruise ship crew members visiting Cork alone in 2018, and injecting €12 million into the Cork and Cobh economies specifically.
Over 100 cruise ships were due to dock at Cobh this year. However, Cork hosted just one ship before the COVID-19 crisis and cruise ship ban started.
The Irish Independent quotes Port of Cork chief executive Brendan Keating as saying, "There will be a significant impact on the local community through loss of business, and we fully support government initiatives to help those businesses trade through difficult times."
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