Coronavirus: Saint John cruise season sees more cancellations

It was supposed to be a banner year for cruise ship tourism in Saint John, but the COVID-19 pandemic continues to chip away at the anticipated numbers.

Port Saint John initially expected to see 90 ships in the 2020 season, with more than 225,000 passengers and crew.

But the federal government’s ban on cruise ships until July cut 22 ships from the schedule.

Now, Carnival Cruise Line has announced 14 additional stops in Saint John that were set to take place between Aug. 2 and Nov. 3.

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According to Port Saint John, the cuts shorten the list of ships coming in from 90 to 50 — a loss of at least 80,000 passengers.

Experts say the problem spans across the Maritimes, where travellers bring big bucks.

“The tourism industry is a lifeline for Atlantic Canada,” says Mary Brooks, professor emerita with Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business.

However, Brooks says if a second wave of the novel coronavirus is avoided, tourists could return to the region in time to see the fall colours.

“If we flatten the curve enough that there is no second wave then more power to us for having stayed the course,” she says.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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