2019 Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum Programme

DAY 1 - Tuesday 28 May 2019

09:00 - 09:30 Morning Coffee & Registration
09:30 - 09:40 Welcome by the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy Mr. F. Kouvelis, Tourism Minister of Cyprus Mr. S. Perdios and President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping Mr. G. Pateras
09:40 - 11:10 STATE OF THE INDUSTRY: The Mediterranean in Today’s Cruise Market
  • For the last few years Mediterranean cruising experienced an overall decrease, especially in the east with considerable berth capacity directed to China and the Asian market. With the stabilization of demand in China, is the industry now looking to increase supply in the Mediterranean?
  • How does the return of cruising to Turkey impact the industry’s interest in the East Med? Can the industry be optimistic about also returning to Israel and Egypt?
  • Will the introduction in 2020 of the new IMO emissions regulations impact deployment in the Mediterranean?
  • There is a very noticeable increase in the construction of cruise ships of all sizes, with an estimated introduction of nearly 500 new vessels by 2027. Are we approaching a case of oversupply of berths or can the industry sustain this growth path? 
  • Tom Boardley, Secretary General, CLIA EUROPE
  • Charles (Bud) Darr, Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group
  • Airam Díaz Pastor, President, MedCruise/ Commercial Director, Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Chris Theophilides, CEO, Celestyal Cruises
Moderator: David Selby, Managing Owner, Travelyields Ltd.

11:10 - 11:20 Networking Coffee Break
11:20 - 12:50 PORTS: Prospects for the Present and Future of Cruising in the East Med
  • As the world cruise fleet continues to grow with a large number of new ships on order, how are ports planning to meet this additional demand for berth and terminal infrastructure?
  • We are seeing substantial investments taking place in some ports, while others are having difficulty maintaining their current infrastructure. Does this investment imbalance mean that some ports could possibly be phased out from cruise ship itineraries?
  • Port privatizations are still very much on the agenda globally, as well as in parts of the Mediterranean. Will port or terminal privatizations bring the urgent infrastructure investments needed to keep up with the cruise industry’s growth?
  • Many ports are faced with the dilemma whether to focus their investments on cruise infrastructure or on other port services related to passenger ferries, containers, general cargo, etc. Can the industry assist them in resolving this dilemma?
  • Elisabetta De Nardo, Vice President, Port Development, MSC Cruises
  • Charles Meaby, General Manager, DP World Limassol
  • Michel Nestour, Vice President, GPDD – EuroMed, Carnival Corp & Plc/ Managing Director, Barcelona Cruise Terminal
  • Theodora Riga, Strategic Planning & Marketing Manager, Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) S.A.
  • Emre Sayın, CEO, Global Ports Holding
Moderator: Alex Napp, Managing Director, PWL Port Services GmbH & Co. KG

13:00 - 14:00 Networking Lunch                                                                                                                                                                                                       
14:00 - 15:15  CLIA EUROPE - Partnership for Sustainable Tourism: Ships, Ports and Destinations
  • The increased worldwide awareness on environmental issues has often spotlighted the shipping industry and particularly cruise operations leading to a new regulatory compliance. What will be the impact on cruising, especially in relation to the new IMO and EU regulations? How do cruise lines and ports respond to this challenge?
  • The question of sustainability for both ports and destinations is also of vital importance and a serious concern for many popular Mediterranean destinations. How is CLIA addressing this issue and the increasing number of press reports on overcrowding? How do ports respond in this challenge and what actions should destinations take to alleviate the situation? 
  • The debate between ports and cruise lines and how services can be provided at a fair and acceptable cost for both parties continues. We now see more government entities imposing a city tax on arriving passengers that often leads to call cancellations thus impacting on the port’s revenue. How can ports protect their interests against such one-sided practices and how is CLIA assisting? 
  • How important is the need for cooperation between cruise lines, ports and destinations to achieve sustainable cruise tourism?
  • Presentation of CLIA Executive Partnership program
  • Aris Batsoulis, Development Director & Head of Cruise Department, Corfu Port Authority S.A.
  • Charles (Bud) Darr, Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group 
  • Maria Deligianni, Government & Public Affairs Representative Eastern Mediterranean, CLIA Europe
  • Dr Ioannis Pappas, Director Mediterranean Region, Global Sustainable Tourism Council
  • Sacha Rougier, Chair, Int’l Association of Ports and Harbors Cruise Committee/ Managing Director, Cruise Gate Hamburg
Moderator: Dr. Panos Kapetanakis, Editor-in-Chief, Naftika Chronika 

Presentation CLIA Executive Partnership program: Bo Larsen, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, CLIA  

15:15 - 15:30 Networking Coffee Break

15:30 - 16:30 EMERGING DESTINATIONS - The East Med and Beyond
  • A highly uplifting and engaging session featuring Cruise Industry and Destination experts, with the focus on new trends and empowering emerging destinations with ambitions to generate Cruise sector growth. The focus will be placed on forward looking insight, practical tools, best practices and guiding principles to enable boutique port destinations to capture the attention of cruise line decision makers and itinerary planners and develop a sustainable business model.
  • Yannis Michaelides, Founder-Director, H&T Beyond Tourism
  • Savvas Perdios, Tourism Minister, Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Tourism
  • Marios Polydorou, Director, Business Development & Travel Experiences Centre, Celestyal Cruises
  • Diogenis Venetopoulos, Partner - VP Sales, Variety Cruises
Moderator: Grant Holmes, VP Cruise Solutions, Inchcape Shipping Services

DAY 2 - Wednesday 29 May 2019

09:00 - 09:30  Morning Coffee & Registration
09:30 - 09:40 Welcome by the Minister of Tourism Mr. Th. Theocharopoulos

09:40 - 11:10 DESTINATIONS, ITINERARY PLANNING & SHORE EXCURSIONS: How these interact and influence Passenger Experience and Cruise Satisfaction
  • Passenger demand is the foundation of a commercially successful itinerary. How does the itinerary planner balance the port selections between this demand and the cruise line’s required revenue targets?
  • As cruise passengers become more travel-sophisticated, they opt to see the ports of call independently and not through purchasing shore excursions operated by the cruise line. Is the industry concerned with this trend that clearly affects revenue and perhaps destination delivery? What actions are envisioned to reverse this trend?
  • How important to overall passenger satisfaction from a cruise are the destinations and the shore excursion options offered by the cruise line?
  • Dimitris Bekos, National Manager Greece, Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services
  • Paul Britton, Manager, Marine Operations, Ports and Itinerary Planning, Disney Cruise Line
  • Dr. Panagiota Dionysopoulou, Director General for Tourism Policy, Ministry of Tourism
  • Alexandros Fan, Product and Buying Corporate Shorex Excursions, MSC Cruises 
  • Elena Vlad, Director of Shorex Excursions, Product Development & Operations, Holland America Group
Moderator: Chrissie Palassis, Partner, CTM Hellas

09:30 - 11:00 Parallel Workshop - Pythagoras 106-7 Seminar Room
HEMEXPO: A Dynamic Entry into Cruising of the Greek Marine Equipment Manufacturers
  • What is the procurement procedure for cruise lines?
  • What does a company need to become a cruise line supplier? Are specific certifications required?
  • Do cruise lines procure equipment internationally or do international manufacturers need to have a local agent? Are there different procurement procedures for newbuildings and retrofits/repairs?
  • Are there specific technologies cruise lines are currently focusing on, as they might be areas in which they will invest in the future?
  • The do’s and don’ts when doing business with cruise lines. 
  • Giovanni Costanza, Technical Procurement Manager, Silversea Cruises
  • Carla Douaihi, Manager Technical Purchasing, Supply Chain Management Dept, Royal Caribbean International 
  • Elizabeth Polanco, Category Manager, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. 
  • Helen Polychronopoulou, President, HEMEXPO 
Moderator: Ilias Bissias, Director, Naftika Chronika & Isalos.net

11:10 - 11:20 Networking Coffee Break
11:20 - 12:50 YEAR ROUND CRUISING: A 365-Day Approach to Cruising
  • The Mediterranean is booming in cruising terms and enjoys the world’s second highest volume of cruise ship calls; however the most popular ports are filled to capacity during the summer season and somewhat empty over the winter period of the Northern Hemisphere. The most effective way for a Cruise destination within the Mediterranean or a destination in a similar line of longitude to generate sustainable cruise tourism growth and boost the local economy, is to develop a strategy that encourages year-round cruising.
  • Such a strategy requires collaboration between multiple neighboring attractive ports to agree on a series of standards, principles and marketing to create the right conditions, services, facilities and pricing in order to bring about a desirable outcome. This interactive session supported by key cruise industry speakers from different perspectives will give greater insight on year-round cruising.
  • Emad Hassan, Advisor to the Minister of Tourism, Egypt 
  • Theodoros Kontes, President, Union of Cruise Ship Owners & Associated Members (EEKFN) 
  • Claire Levitt, Deputy Destination Experience Manager, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
  • Leslie Peden, Chief Commercial Officer, Celestyal Cruises
Moderator: Grant Holmes, VP Cruise Solutions, Inchcape Shipping Services
11:20 - 12:50 Parallel Workshop - Pythagoras 106-7 Seminar Room
CRUISE SALES: How can Travel Agents benefit from increased demand for Cruise Holidays - Organised in association with fedHATTA, the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist & Travel Agencies
  • The workshop will offer travel agents the chance to acquire skills and techniques on how to increase their business turnover through cruise sales. CLIA UK & Ireland’s Andy Harmer will also present the CLIA Travel Agent Program.
  • Christos Minos Christodoulakis, Partner, The Good Guys' Tourism
  • Tatiana Hambas, President, Cruiseway Travel
  • Andy Harmer, Director, CLIA UK & Ireland 
  • Andreas Stylianopoulos, CEO, Navigator Travel & Tourist Services Ltd 
Moderator: George Stathopoulos, Cruise Industry Executive Consultant & fedHATTA representative
13:00 - 14:00 Parallel Workshop - Thalis 204 Seminar Room
MSC Cruises Presents “Cruising from Piraeus”
by Angelo Capurro, Executive Director, MSC Cruises

13:00 - 14:00 Networking Lunch
14:00 - 15:30 YACHTING & MARINAS: The Challenges Remain
  • Does the implementation of VAT on charters by all of the Mediterranean’s EU Members even out the playing field leading to a more competitive base for commercial yacht charters?
  • The future and the success of any tourism sector depend heavily on the ability to sustain its product as well as the environment in which it operates. Is the yachting sector in the Mediterranean doing enough to protect the seas and marinas which are its lifelines?
  • The new Superyacht Seas of Greece – a glimpse into a bright future? 
  • Rosemary Pavlatou, Director, A1 Yacht Trade Consortium & BWA Yachting/ Member, MYBA-The Worldwide Yachting Association
  • Antonis Stelliatos, President, Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association (HPYOA)
  • George Vernicos, Chairman, Vernicos Yachts
  • Janet Xanthopoulos, Legal Adviser, Yacht Ownership & Administration Dpt Manager, Rosemont Yacht Services
Moderator: Oscar SichesISO Yacht Harbour Expert, Marina Consultant, Member of ICOMIA
14:00 - 15:30 Parallel Workshop - Pythagoras 106-7 Seminar Room
BLUEGROWTH: "The Final Pitch - BG V Emerging Piraeus Maritime Startups" - The Presentation

BlueGrowth aims to inspire and support startups with innovative ideas relating to the blue economy, including shipping, sea tourism, tourism, fisheries and the marine ecosystem. The process is carried out through the significant BlueGrowth competition, with the winners joining the "incubation" programme and building a strong foundation for entry into the "business world". At the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum the final presentation of the teams attending BlueGrowth’s incubation programme will be made.
The project’s aim is to mark the beginning for new concepts, which will encapsulate the essence and true meaning of BlueGrowth: originality, creativity, innovation and collaboration and to be present and supportive until the “seed-idea” transforms into an established and strong stakeholder of the “blue” economy.

BlueGrowth workshop is open to PSTF participants.

The YES Forum is a leading platform of open dialogue in the Greek Shipping and Sea Tourism Industries among principals, executives, university students and young executives that takes place under the auspices of the Ministries of Shipping, Education, Tourism and the majority of the Greek Universities. The topics to be discussed are sea tourism, cruising and yachting in Greece, challenging and profitable sectors which present opportunities for young people. Delegates will have the chance to interact with experienced industry professionals. The “YES to Sea Tourism Forum” will end with executives from the Shipping and Sea Tourism industries participating in networking corners with the following topics: Technical and Operations Departments of a Shipping Company, Startups, Innovation, Technology & Maritime Cluster, giving young professionals the chance to learn more about these industries.
To register for the YES Forum please click here.

  • Danae Bezantakou, CEO, Navigator Shipping Consultants LTD/ Concept Founder, YES Forum
  • Dr Panagiota Dionysopoulou, Director General for Tourism Policy, Ministry of Tourism
  • Pafsanias Papageorgiou, General Secretary for Lifelong Learning and Youth (tbc)
  • Capt. Paris Dragnis, Founder & President, Goldenport Group 
  • Xenia Kourtoglou, Founder & Managing Partner, Focus Bari
  • Maria Deligianni, Government and Public Affairs Representative Eastern Mediterranean, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
  • Capt. Vassilis Gazikas, Marine Operations Director, Celestyal Cruises
  • Dr Thanos Pallis, Professor of Port Economics & Policy, University of the Aegean, Greece/ President of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME)
  • Alexandros Seremelis, Lecturer, Metropolitan College
Moderator: Minas Tsamopoulos, Journalist, Proto Thema

will follow 18:00-19:00

1. Crew - Operations - Chartering Dept./ Shipping Company
2. Innovation - Startups - Save time in Shipping Agencies (Main Entrance)
3. Masters in Shipping


The programme might be subject to change.

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Executive Partner