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Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum to discuss industry's challenges and potential

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Thessaloniki - venue for Posidonia Sea Tourism 2023
Pierfrancesco Vago, CLIA Global chair and executive chairman of MSC Cruises; Chris Theophilides, CEO, Celestyal Cruises; and Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises, are among executives lined up to speak at the 7th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum.

To be held on April 25-26 in Thessaloniki’s Makedonia Palace Hotel, the biennial event comes at a time when the cruise industry is looking to fully recover from the pandemic and chart a path towards a sustainable future.

Sustainable mode of travel

'Cruising is a sustainable mode of travel, and together with the ports and destinations, we will continue to develop while taking everyone's interests into account - through integrated planning and better management of guest flows,' commented Meier.

The speakers will focus on a number of key issues including destination delivery, the development and upgrade of port and tourism infrastructure to encourage and enable growth, the need to properly assess the economic benefit and environmental impact for a given destination and the capacity for shore power, amongst others. 

They will also discuss the challenges of berth reservation and assignment, particularly in marquee ports with limited berthing ability.

Confirmed speakers include: Manolis Alevropoulos, VP, Celebrity Cruises; Spiros Almpertis, VP port operations, itinerary planning and fuel management Crystal Cruises; Figen Ayan, President of MedCruise, Michele Bosco, manager shore excursions Mediterranean, North Africa & Black Sea, Holland America Group; Linden Coppell, VP sustainability & ESG of MSC Cruises; George Koumpenas, President of Hellenic Cruise Ship Owners & Associated Members’ Union; Ukko Metsola, VP, government relations, EMEA, Royal Caribbean Group; Marie-Caroline Laurent, director general of CLIA Europ and Mark Robinson, SVP cruise operations, Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours.

Thessaloniki

Theophilides commented: 'We are delighted to participate in this year’s Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, particularly as it takes place in our homeport of Thessaloniki, an up-and-coming city that has plenty to offer visitors in the way of history, culture and unrivalled gastronomy.  As Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean are our home, we look forward to constructive dialogue between the authorities and cruise companies to ensure sustainable development within the area which will benefit both the national and the local economy.'

The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum will also host the ‘YES to SEApping Forum 2023’ to reach out to the younger generation in Thessaloniki. The forum aims to inform young people about the evolving Blue Economy by covering both the shipping and sea tourism industries.