In the tourism sector, the Cruise industry was one of the most vulnerable parts to outbreaks early on in the crisis, and sailings stopped around the world. The COVID 19 crisis did shake the tourism world and the cruise industry was no exception.
Norway Cruise Line, one of the world’s biggest cruise companies, has reported an 80 per cent drop in revenue and $4 billion in losses because of the groundings, according to The Wall Street Journal. Yet, CEO Frank Del Rio’s compensation doubled to $36.4 million, the Journal reported.
A Norwegian Cruise spokesman said the increase was partly due to bonuses tied to a contract extension, in addition to Del Rio’s compensation included for the effects of the pandemic and a U.S. government ban on travel to Cuba.
“We believe these changes were in the best interests of the company and secured Mr Del Rio’s continued invaluable expertise,Our management team took quick, decisive action to reduce costs, conserve cash, raise capital”.
The spokesman also said that a plan to relaunch the company’s fleet is underway, as well.
To be clear, Del Rio is not an outlier. Pay rose in 2020 for 206 of the 322 CEOs in the Journal’s analysis, and the median pay for the executives in that group jumped to $13.7 million last year from $12.8 million in 2019. While it’s true that many CEOs took salary cuts during the pandemic, the Journal notes that much of their pay is tied to bonuses or equity, so they were still able to reel in a lot of money when the stock market rebounded.