Cruise industry heralds Greece’s role as an important cruise hub and reveals action plans for growth
Thessaloniki, 25 April 2023 - As the international cruise sector continues its positive growth trajectory during 2023, the 7th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, which brings together industry leaders from all over the world, is an ideal platform for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, to address the major topics, challenges and opportunities that will shape the industry’s agenda in coming years.
The Forum is being held today and tomorrow in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, at a pivotal moment for Greece, whose role in the safe resumption of cruising creates a unique opportunity for the country to optimize its position on the global cruise map.
The Forum was opened by a keynote speech delivered by Mr Pierfrancesco Vago, Global Chairman of CLIA and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises. In the keynote, Mr Vago revealed an action plan for sustainable growth that emphasized the need to invest in infrastructure to maintain smooth operations and enhance the attractiveness of Greece as a cruise hub.
“Greece is an important cruise hub in the Mediterranean, with great potential for further growth. Having developed its homeporting capabilities, the priority now is for ports, cruise operators and authorities to work together to create the right infrastructure and operating environment for the long-term”, said Pierfrancesco Vago, Global Chairman of CLIA and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, during his keynote speech that opened the Forum today.
The key actions proposed are working together to: promote new destinations, create the right port infrastructure and operating environment, develop sustainable tourism practices, introduce onshore solutions to match environmental technologies deployed onboard and support development of new fuels, and build the skills of the next generation of seafarers.
Mr. Vago is leading a high-level CLIA delegation at the Forum, including Marie-Caroline Laurent, Director General, Europe, Sascha Gill, Vice President, Sustainability, Maria Deligianni, National Director – Eastern Mediterranean, and Andy Harmer, Managing Director, UK & Ireland.
The importance of the Mediterranean region in post-pandemic cruising was among the top issues discussed at the opening of the Forum.
“With such vibrancy and diversity of cultures, the Mediterranean region is one of the world’s favorite places to visit. And this magnificent region still offers so many more places to discover, best to be discovered by sea. Cruise tourism is a real opportunity for new destinations like remote island and coastline areas, bringing important social and economic benefits to more communities”, said Marie-Caroline Laurent, Director General, CLIA.