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Royal Caribbean Chairman shares reassuring message in midst of Coronavirus outbreak

02 Mar 2020
Matt Hochberg

The travel industry has been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus outbreak, and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain appealed directly to the travel agent community to remain vigilant.

Mr. Fain sent a video to travel agents who sell cruises on Royal Caribbean, as well as her sister brands, and urged despite the tumultuous situation at hand with the Coronavirus, better times are still to come.

"This is a tough time - a really tough time - and all of us know it, because all of us are going through it together."

"After reading enough of the endless media reports about Coronavirus, it's really easy to think that the world is coming to an end. Well, I have a spoiler alert: it's not. We're all spending time worrying, and that's natural, because we're in a storm, and when you're in the middle of a storm, it certainly feels like it'll never end. But as with most storms, it gets worse before it gets better, but it's hard to remember that this too shall pass. And while the virus is something to be taken seriously, it's not a cause for panic - not in a personal sense, and not in a business sense either."

"As far as the business impact on our business, it ain't pretty. In fact, to use a technical term I learned in business school, it sucks."

"We've absolutely sailed through rough waters like this before, and we've weathered every storm side-by-side with you. We all vividly remember dealing with all the impacts of 9/11 had on revenue, and on our operations. And remember the last pandemic, the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009? Or the Ebola scare? In each case, it felt to me at least, like the rough seas were never going to end. But in each case, they did."

"We are a strong and growing company in a strong and growing industry, and that's the walk we're walking. Because when this is finally behind us, and it will be behind us, we are going to be in a position to take advantage and to move forward at a fast pace."

"The bad news is that we're in a tough patch. The good news is that we're in it together, and together, we'll get to the better part sooner than you think."

While the video is directed to travel agents, I believe it is a good reminder to us all that, as Mr. Fain said, this too shall pass.