Fain Bullish on Spanish Market Despite Economy

Royal Caribbean has no intention to disinvest from Pullmantur and the Spanish market, Royal Caribbean Cruises Chairman and CEO Richard Fain told Cruise Industry News.

Long term, Spain and Portugal will be good passenger sourcing markets, even if pricing is low now, Fain said aboard the new Celebrity Solstice this weekend.

“We are having a difficult time in today’s economy, so is every other business. I think though that not only do we have to get through the immediate environment, we have to position ourselves to really take advantage of where we are at the end of this, because this too shall pass,” Fain said. “The Spanish economy has suffered earlier and more severely than many others, but it will recover. And we have the largest market share in that market. We intend to continue to build that. … We believe that’s a long term good market. And that we’re well positioned in that market as the economy recovers.”

Because economic troubles are not limited to one country, there are no contingency plans for Royal Caribbean to retreat from any one market. Pullmantur will continue building the product so, when the recession is over, it’s in a good place to take advantage, he said.

“The market already is receiving us very well. Pricing is suffering, as it is in every industry. But the Spanish people are learning more and more about cruising – and also Portugal, by the way. And that will continue to help us as we recover,” Fain said.

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