CLIA Brings Port & Destination Forum Back to London

February 28, 2016 – A new edition of the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) Port & Destination Forum, the first event organised for the association’s Port & Destination Community this year, has taken place in London. The Forum took place on the same day as CLIA Europe’s Port & Destination Subcommittee meeting at the Hill Dickinson premises in London City. Cruise lines’ port operations and destination development executives met to discuss the common challenges and opportunities they find at the ports and destinations their ships called upon. The agenda included the on-going reform of the EU Visa Code for the Schengen Area, which could result in a dramatic increase in the number of third country tourists visiting Europe. Over 100 CLIA Executive Partners attended the Forum, including ports, destinations, tour operators and port agents. They engaged in open discussions with more than 20 cruise line executives. The agenda included sessions and panels on a range of current issues of interest to the Port & Destination Community, such as European deployment capacity, port infrastructure, waste reception facilities and the evolution of the role of port agents. Most of the delegates signalled optimism that European cruise ship deployment will continue to improve, although certain challenges such as Europe’s increasing political instability and unfavourable regulatory initiatives could limit future growth. The need to improve and expand European cruise port infrastructure was also highlighted as a key challenge to the industry’s further growth. While most delegates perceived this challenge to have principally financial and environmental dimensions, port authority representatives stressed the necessity to better understand cruise operators’ needs in order to find tangible solutions. For their part, cruise operators highlighted the value of working with long serving port authority officials that understand well the cruise business. The day’s discussions also focused on the role of port agents, with delegates agreeing that their importance to cruise ship port operations is not likely to diminish in the foreseeable future. The industry continues to rely heavily on port agents for many services. This is particularly the case when unforeseen events occur. “With this event, CLIA’s Port & Destination Community has had a chance to discuss topics of key importance to the cruise industry’s business,” said Adam Sharp, Chairman of CLIA Europe’s Port & Destination Subcommittee and Head of Port Operations & Guest Port Services N. Europe, Middle East & Africa for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "The on-going feedback that we receive from them has been instrumental to craft a tailor-made programme that is in line with their interests and businesses. We hope to continue to add value to their CLIA Executive Partner membership.”

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