Speakers including senior executives from Azamara Club Cruises, Celestyal Cruises (Louis Cruises), Crystal Cruises, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises and more, will gather in the Greek capital for this two-day event to meet industry officials from the region’s private sector, government bodies and regulatory authorities.
As Royal Caribbean Cruises’ representative Andreas Stylianopoulos, president & ceo, Navigator Travel said: ‘I am confident that the East Mediterranean will continue to recover as a cruising sub-region in spite of the fact that some of its strong destinations are still out of play. One important factor in the renewal of demand for East Mediterranean cruises is that Greece, as a tourist destination, has recently become very much in fashion worldwide. Sustainability in tourism requires a clear vision with farseeing strategies, constant nurturing with great attention to detail and of course, political stability coupled with consistent policy.’
His optimism is shared by Marco Digioia, Government Affairs Director of CLIA Europe. ‘We plan meetings with senior Greek government officials to discuss the potential for cruise growth in Greece and the East Med, the projected increase of deployment in the East Med for 2016, and to address current barriers to the growth of both cruise calls and home-porting in Greece,’ said Digioia.
CLIA Europe will hold its biannual executive committee meeting in Athens, during the event.
According to Theodore Vokos, executive director of Posidonia Exhibitions, the event’s organiser, Greece continues to enjoy a significant cruise presence with passenger calls reaching a total of 5m in 2014. ‘Several Greek cruise ports are among the top ranking in Europe in absolute passenger visits and this, in combination with the emergence of new cruise ports in the region, will continue to provide cruise lines with a significant choice of exciting and lucrative destination options.’
More vessels trading in the region also means more business for suppliers to the sector, including food and beverage producers. Some of the region’s local exporters of F&B products, processing manufacturers, wineries and gastronomic product specialists will participate in the European F&B Cruise Ship Supply Industry Workshop networking with key representatives from the cruise procurement and supply sector.
The future of yachting in Greece and its potential contribution will also be debated at the Forum, together with issues relating to marina development and utilization.
The 3rd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is organised under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the Greek Ministry of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports (MedCruise), the Hellenic Ports’ Association (ELIME), the Greek Marinas’ Association, the Association of Passenger Shipping Companies, the Union of Greek Ship Owners & Associated Members and the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourism Agencies (HATTA).
Gold Sponsor is the Piraeus Port Authority, Silver Sponsor is Air France – KLM and Bronze Sponsor is Celestyal Cruises.