CLIA Europe, the association representing Europe’s multibillion euro cruise industry, has once again reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to work with ports and port associations to ensure consistent representation of the cruise sector’s interests before public authorities and the media.
Speaking in Barcelona at the opening session of Seatrade Med – the major biennial cruise event focused on the Mediterranean market, taking place this week – Pierfrancesco Vago, CLIA Europe’s Chairman, said: “Cooperation with port associations is key for the entire sector. We appeal to our friends in the port communities to join us in this endeavour. A relationship built on common interests and mutual respect will make our long-term success more likely.
“As an industry, we are committed to working with our partners and stakeholders to create operating environments that keep our business on the up-and-up, broaden cruising’s appeal to even more passengers, and develop itineraries that open up even more destinations.”
During his keynote speech, Pierfrancesco Vago highlighted some key areas where cruise lines and the ports and destinations must work together.
Speaking about criticism over cruise ship visits to delicate environments, he said: “We need to address the question of cruise ships calling at historical sites, Venice being the obvious example. We fully support the need to protect destinations, and want to put cruising at the forefront of sustainable tourism. As an industry we must engage with local authorities and stakeholders, with support from ports and port associations, to find viable, sustainable solutions to the problems that may arise in these environments.”
Regarding infrastructure and port facilities in the Med, the CLIA Europe Chairman said: “Some Mediterranean port facilities are not keeping up with our industry’s growth, and urgent upgrades are needed. Again, the solution lies in working more closely with the ports and destinations. CLIA Europe is committed to engaging with different stakeholders to guarantee that ports, destinations and the cruise industry maximise growth opportunities together.”