The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) hosted its fourth Port and Destination Summit on 5th September. Over 260 international partners of CLIA Executive Partner Program, including 50 cruise line executives gathered at the Hamburg Messe and Congress GmbH Hamburg, one day before the Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Convention official opening.
The objective of the Summit, to generate concrete business discussions between decision makers from ports, destinations and the broad cruise industry’s supply chain, was met. After a general opening session hosted by Cindy d’Aoust, President and CEO of CLIA, and Bo Larsen, Senior Vice President Strategic Partnerships, CLIA, nine different breakout sessions engaged all participants. Driven by field experts, the sessions covered various topics: safe, secure and sustainable cruise shipping; shore excursion planning and management during peak demand; cruise destination marketing; cruise port infrastructure and its impact on the destination; berthing allocation policy; the future role of the port agent and the importance of tourist guides, ambassadors of destinations.
Present in many discussion panels, Giora Israel, Senior Vice President, Port and Destination Development, Carnival Corp. & Plc reported back on a variety of topics covered during the one day event: “The sessions were concrete and practical for all delegates. We could share our combined efforts towards a sustainable and growing industry in need of efficient and creative itinerary planning. We also underlined the importance of our port agents and the pivotal role of guides at all our port of calls. We are always adding new destinations, so we shared our views on the importance of timely destination marketing”.
Elisabetta de Nardo, Director Port and Destination Operations, Silversea Cruises & Chair of CLIA Europe’s Port and Destination Committee, also commented: “This year we noted even greater participation and dialogue from the CLIA cruise line members and Executive Partners. The industry knowledge is increasingly shared, creating business opportunities and a variety of solutions for participants. For cruise lines, the guest experience in a non-negotiable element and our partners’ understanding of our goals is only beneficial to all industry players”.
More partners commented on the benefits of the Summit; ‘a time-saver through best practice sharing’ for the Port of Dover with ‘rich and invaluable content’ for Cruise Newfoundland Labrador, a Canadian marketing destination company.
The Port and Destination Summit created positive networking opportunities and facilitated one-to-one pre-booked business sessions with cruise lines decision makers, to generate further business openings for CLIA members.