Diaz takes over the helm at MedCruise from Kristijan Pavic from Dubrovnik and will serve a three year term with immediate effect.
A new board of directors was also appointed including svp Aris Batsoulis representing Corfu Port Authority and vp Laura Cimaglia from Brindisi Port.
In his opening address Diaz reminded the 100 plus port members of MedCruise spread across 20 countries handled 13,500 cruise calls last year and 27m passenger movements he believes there is potential for further growth considering that parts of the region are currently facing geopolitical issues which have drastically seen a decline in cruise traffic including Turkey, Black Sea area, Israel, Syria and Tunisia.
Other challenges Diaz singled out included port infrastructure, bigger ships, new technologies, the approach to the EU, negativity towards cruising from certain municipalities and how to cater to the potential influx of Chinese/Asian passengers to the Med.
He called on ports and the association's board to work together with the cruise lines on promoting the positive aspects of cruising and also suggested closer collaboration with local and national tourist boards.
Diaz said MedCruise has set up special working groups to develop an understanding and strategy on some key areas such as LNG provision in port, Asia and China source market growth, relations with Brussels, city relationships and he asked cruise line execs to join with MedCruise in the dialogues.