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Making the UK a great place for the cruise industry to do business in

PHOTO: Mary Bond CRUISE_UK_CLIA_Government.jpg
L-R: David Dinble, Kelly Craighead, Barbara Keeley MP and Andy Harmer, md, CLIA UK & Ireland
‘We want the UK to be a great place for the cruise industry to do business in and everything we do is aimed towards that,’ commented Carnival UK Chairman David Dingle and chair of CLIA UK’s steering committee.

He was addressing a select gathering of UK members of Parliament, UK-based cruise line executives and members of Cruise Britain at a reception in London Tuesday evening following a bi-annual cruise industry government forum hosted by the Department of Transport.

Dingle reiterated cruise lines are getting ready to decarbonise ‘as quickly as we can’ and cited the most recent news that Portsmouth on the UK’s south coast has become the latest cruise port in the country to be granted funding to implement shore power.

Alternative fuels

‘There is a lot of talk about the use of alternative fuels, including hydrogen and ammonia, but these will not be viable options for another 15 years,’ and he added there is not enough bio fuel available for shipping with the aviation sector being given priority but he felt cruising’s voice is being heard at the UK government and that he was proud that ‘cruise is leading the way on decarbonisation within shipping.’

Providing a view on the value of cruise tourism to a port, city and region, Angie Redhead head of Liverpool City Assets said at Liverpool we use every opportunity to create an event around a cruise ship visit or conversely try to add a cruise ship into an already planned event. For example, at this year’s Eurovision which was broadcast to a global audience of 160m people Queen Mary 2 sailed into Liverpool to open the televised event.

Economic contributor

60% of the city’s income is generated by tourism and cruise is an important contributor. In 2023, 130 cruise ships and over 200,000 cruise passengers will visit Cruise Britian member Liverpool generating £15m to the city.

‘When we started welcoming cruise ships in 2007, we had three calls that year,’ Redhead stated.

Source market and destination

Kelly Craighead, CLIA Global’s President and CEO spoke of the importance of the UK cruise market, ‘because it is a destination as well as a source market, which makes it so valuable.’ She noted around one million passengers from UK & Ireland took a cruise in the first half of this year. 

Shadow Tourism Minister Barbara Keeley M, just a week in her new role called tourism, ‘a great British success story and crucial to the UK economy’ and acknowledged the significant role cruising plays in the overall tourism chain citing 60% of cruise visitors will return to take a land vacation. ‘I am listening to the cruise industry,’ she added.

Earlier in the afternoon representatives from the UK cruise sector including the senior CLIA team, cruise line representatives and Cruise Britain's Kay Greenway and Chair Ian McQuade, attended the bi-annual cruise industry Government forum hosted by the Department of Transport onboard THV Galatea. Representatives from ABP Southampton and Port of Dover were able to attend remotely. Baroness Vere, Maritime Minister, gave the Ministerial address and attendees discussed decarbonising the cruise sector, the economic value and spread of cruise tourism in the UK and opportunities to further hone the UK’s competitive advantage.