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Published on : Monday, December 2, 2013
The high operational cost in the ports of the South American region is having a negative impact for the cruise industry and some of the companies have already withdrawn vessels from the South Atlantic routes.
This warning came from the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Royal Caribbean during a regional conference on the industry sponsored by Uruguay’s Ministry of Tourism.
“The high cost of operations and inadequate port facilities has meant that traffic has not increased significantly despite the potential of the region”, said Mike Ronan, Royal Caribbean vice-president for government relations with Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia.
More specifically in Punta del Este, Ronan underlined some inconveniences generated because vessels have the obligation of contracting local tenders for the transport of passengers.
“We’re not talking about taking business away from the locals, but rather how we can address it in such a way that it is most effective for the country and for the visitors”, added Ronan.
However the Royal Caribbean official anticipated that this season the number of visitors landing in Montevideo and Punta del Este should be similar to that of the previous season.
MSC was optimistic about business, although they are not sure about the following season.