The boss of Royal Caribbean Cruises has issued a message of reassurance to travel agents over the impact of coronavirus.

Chairman and chief executive Richard Fain appealed directly to the trade not to panic.

And in a video, Fain stressed that his group’s cruise brands and agents that sell them “will get through this difficult time together”.

He said: “This is a tough time – a really tough time – and all of us know it, because all of us are going through it together.

“And after enough challenging days for your business, 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 an 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.

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“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.

“Like you, we’re hurting. We’ve had to cancel cruises, lost revenue and our people are putting in long days looking our for the health and safety of our guests and our crew.

However, Fain added: “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 our 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.

“Our people worked hard to deal with an ever-changing set of demands and circumstances, just as you are.

“None of us is gong to go through this alone but we are also full speed ahead on so many fronts. Our ship orders continue to growing strong and we look forward to the delivery of Celebrity Apex in just a few weeks.

“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, and you will be to.

“Over many years we have witness how well all of our travel partners rise to overcome challenges. We’ve seen your resolve and your determination time and time again and we’re proud to be working alongside you.

“Our guests come to you for your expertise, your knowledge and your guidance and we sleep better knowing they’re in your good hands.

“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.”

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