The Cozumel cruise industry seems to be back on track. The island relied heavily on cruise liners arriving with foreign tourists who contribute greatly to the local economy. So far in 2022 more than double the number of cruise ships are arriving to the island compared to 2021. One of those cruise ships that is arriving in Cozumel is the largest cruise ship in the world!
The Wonder of Seas, a ship by Royal Caribbean cruise lines can hold up to 9000 passengers and crew. That shares a total of 18 decks that make up the boat. The most luxurious of these areas is known as the neighborhood suite. That area, of course, comes with a multitude of amenities. Including in room Wi-Fi, complimentary dining, and a drink package.
The Arrival of The Wonder of The Seas Prompted A Ceremony In Cozumel
As the cruise ship arrived a ceremony took place on land at the “Isla de Las Golondrinas” a part of the Cozumel main island. The governor of the state of Quintana Roo was on hand to exchange pleasantries with the ship’s captain and crew. The ship is set to continue its journey through the region. It is set to dock at another Quintana Roo port in the coming days. Arriving at the Mahaul dock.
At the ceremony the governor had high hopes that the cruise industry in the area would continue to recover. He mentioned,
“Studies indicate that one in every three passengers that have gone on cruise ships will choose to take these types of trips again.”
Cozumel’s Economy Is Heavily Dependent on US Tourism
Before the pandemic hit Cozumel boasted one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Sitting at just under 3%. Since the pandemic hit that number has skyrocketed. In fact, the pandemic has forced a mass exodus from the island. The effects of the pandemic on the island have been much worse than what had been seen in other troubled times. The US economic recession in 2008 also hit the island hard. Doubling the unemployment rate on the island from 2008 to 2009.
This heavy dependency on US tourism and cruise ship arrivals in specific has drawn criticism from locals. In January protests arose against the building of a new pier on the island. Still, authorities are looking to promote the arrival of even more ships to the region. Going ahead with the building of a fourth pier on the island to welcome this type of tourism. Folks who oppose the idea mention that a fourth pier will escalate the local economy’s dependence on cruise ship tourism. While also causing massive damage to coral reefs near the island.
More Than 100 Shopping & Dining Options Rely On Cruise Ship Tourism
Environmental reasons to oppose the arrival of more ships may be strong. In fact, removing natural barriers like coral reefs from spots like Cozumel and Isla Mujeres could spark a domino effect. That would lead at the very least to more sargassum ending up on Cancun beaches. Royal Caribbean and local businesses though would love to see more cruise ship traffic in the region.
The company mentioned that passengers of The Wonder of The Seas that decided to get off in Cozumel would be able to enjoy the more than 100 shopping and dining options in the region. As well as service from 20 certified companies that offer other types of experiences that range from snorkeling to visiting archeological sites. For local authorities the arrival of the largest cruise ship in the world is a clear sign that things are looking up for Cozumel. The island’s economy is prone to continue being heavily dependent on American cruise ship tourism!
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