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Ponant’s Le Dumont d’Urville hosts UK minister and CLIA

L-R: Stephen Winter, international sales director, Ponant; Kay Greenway, director, Cruise Britain; Julia Lopez, minister of state for Media, Tourism and Creative Industries; Andy Harmer, MD, CLIA UK and Ireland.
Julia Lopez, the UK’s minister for media, tourism and creative industries, met with the Cruise Lines International Association on board Ponant’s Le Dumont d’Urville in London today. 

During the visit, CLIA outlined the economic benefits of cruise tourism to coastal and remote regions and islands that may be harder to reach by other means, supporting local services such as tourist attractions, restaurants, tour operators, and hotels.

The meeting took place as the association prepares to host a cruise conference for travel agents in Southampton from May 23-25. 

Committed to supporting the UK cruise market 

Olivier Narcy, Ponant’s chief EMEA sales & global customer relations officer said Lopez’s visit on board Le Dumont d’Urville during its port of call in London, ‘...presented a fabulous opportunity for us to introduce Ponant’s unique experience to our UK partners. We are committed to supporting the UK market. Three of our ships will sail to the UK this summer, in about 45 different ports of call including new ones such as Herm Island, Fowey in South Cornwall and the Hebrides.’ 

‘Brilliant work’

Lopez said, ‘The cruise industry plays a vital role in our first-class tourism offer, showing visitors from across the world the best of Britain while generating millions of pounds for the economy and bringing huge benefits to our coastal communities. 

‘We are committed to keeping our tourism industry ship-shape, so it was fantastic to meet with CLIA today to hear about the brilliant work they do to promote the cruise industry in the UK and steer our vibrant visitor economy to success.’ 

A leading cruise market

According to CLIA data, cruise passengers spend an average of £700 during port calls on a week-long cruise. More than 90% of passengers that sailed in the past 12 months disembarked the ship at one port of call during their voyage, at least. 

In 2023, UK ports welcomed 2.16m transit passengers visiting by cruise. With each transit passenger worth at least £70 to the local tourism economy every time they step ashore, this means a vital tourism injection of around £150m to Britain’s coastal economies in addition to the economic advantages brought through cruise line and port operations.

CLIA UK & Ireland MD Andy Harmer explained, ‘Cruise is a vital part of the UK visitor economy, bringing economic and social benefits to port communities around the country.  At the same time, tens of thousands of travel agents, on the high street or homeworkers, benefit from the UK being in the top three cruise markets globally.’

CLIA’s international surveys suggest more than six in 10 people returned to a destination first visited by cruise ship. Plus, local economies and businesses that rely on the industry can benefit from stability due to cruise lines planning itineraries years in advance. 

Responsible tourism by Ponant 

The minister also had the opportunity to see the initiatives taken to promote efforts towards more responsible tourism on board Le Dumont d’Urville – compliant with the most recent environmental regulations, equipped with catalytic systems to reduce NOx emissions, and fitted with shore power connection systems.