Dublin Port Company hosted a Cruise Europe Brexit summit in The Gibson Hotel in Dublin this morning. Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney, An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, opened proceedings by updating members on the uncertainty that continues to prevail over Brexit. He went on to state that this is not just a British issue but will have an effect on many other EU states.
This uncertainty is proving to be challenging for governments and business alike. He acknowledged the economic benefit of the tourism and maritime sectors and reiterated the government commitment to supporting these industries and the development of cruise tourism going forward.
Panellists agreed that the uncertainty that remains is bad for business. All organisations are spending time and resources on contingency planning rather than developing growth strategies. While current cruise bookings remain buoyant and there are no immediate plans to change itineraries, the main concern is the stability of sterling and the potential economic impact thereof.
The movement of passengers and stores remains under review. However, cruise companies do not anticipate that there will be a significant impact at this time. Cruise operators did request that ports relay any information in relation to local customs and immigration decisions that may be useful in the planning process.
Panellists included executives from Carnival UK, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Cruise & Maritime Voyages as well as representatives from Irish state agencies, port authorities, shipping agents and shore excursion providers.