Officials are hopeful Carnival Cruise Lines can resume its trips from Mobile. The area tourism agency says cruises account for $150 million annually, and a more than yearlong shutdown has hurt the local economy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines recently that would allow companies that meet certain benchmarks to resume operating around mid-July. APR spoke with Gulf coast tourism officials about post-COVID tourism. The coverage was part of our series on the tenth anniversary of the Gulf oil spill. Herb Malone is director of the Gulf Shores-Orange Beach Tourism Bureau. He said the competition for tourists will be tough.
“Every cruise line and everybody in the mountains and everywhere else is competing for people to come visit,” said Malone. “The competition will be much higher since it will all be coming out at one time.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Alabama Cruise Terminal in Mobile has been providing COVID-19 vaccinations rather than trips to the western Caribbean during the pandemic, but that could soon change. With demand for shots lagging at large sites, the county health officer says the site could shut down soon as the cruise industry prepares to restart.