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CLIA UK & Ireland presents cruising's economic benefits to politicians

Baroness Vere, maritime minister, and shadow maritime minister Mike Kane MP at the cross-party event yesterday
Cruise Lines International Association UK and Ireland held a reception at the House of Commons to highlight the economic benefits of cruise tourism to all parts of the UK.

The cross-party event on February 22 was addressed by Baroness Vere, maritime minister, and Shadow Maritime Minister Mike Kane MP (member of Parliament), with 25 MPs representing different parties from all parts of the UK joining cruise industry representatives.  

Contributes £9.4b to the economy

According to Vere the cruise industry has been vital for the economy, having contributed £9.4b, as well as creating jobs for thousands across the country. ‘The pandemic halted the growth of the sector, and that is why we jointly created the Cruise Industry and Government Forum, a platform to discuss shared goals in line with Maritime 2050,’ she said. ‘Government will continue to support the growth of the sector, as it enters a year of renewal.'

Kane stated that the cruise industry has been working closely with parliamentarians over the last three years, allowing it to have returned successfully following the pandemic, and make progress in supporting the net zero agenda. He added, ‘Labour [Labour Party] recognises the industry’s crucial role in bringing tourists to coastal towns and cities in all four nations of the UK. We also look forward to working with the industry as it continues its towards making cruise travel more sustainable, through innovating new technologies, and investing in our net zero future.’

The reception gave MPs an opportunity to hear more about the contributions of the cruise industry to local economies across the UK, and to speak to senior cruise line and travel agent representatives. Sponsor of the event, Royston Smith MP for Southampton Itchen, remarked, ‘The cruise industry is extremely important to my constituency, and our local economy, supporting many regional businesses and generating employment opportunities in cruise tourism.  

A connected industry with a diverse supply chain

‘The cruise industry is not only important to Southampton [the home of Southampton port] but to the UK as a whole and brings great economic benefits to our country.’

Andy Harmer, MD for CLIA UK and Ireland, observed that ‘There are thousands of businesses, including travel agents, tour operators and hotels, up and down the country, many of which are small or family-run, which rely on a successful cruise industry.’ 

He said the economic benefits of cruise tourism to port cities ‘are well documented’ and that the event was about ‘recognising how these benefits extend beyond ports.’

Continued Harmer, ‘Today’s event was an important opportunity… to show that we are a connected industry with an extensive and diverse supply chain, making a positive impact across the UK.’