PORT ST. MAARTEN – Two members from Port St. Maarten and the director of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, recently returned after attending Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Executive Summit that took place in Miami, Florida from December 4-6.
Port St. Maarten, a Diamond member of CLIA, will be working on fostering a greater relationship with the European Union (EU) market through its involvement with CLIA. This is part of Port St. Maarten’s Post-Irma strategic business development and marketing approach that is being executed by representatives of the recently established Cruise Business Unit.
Destination St. Maarten received a very good reception from the attendees who were interested in the post-Irma recovery process. The delegation used this summit to meet one-on-one with as many attendees to brief about the destination’s ‘we are open for business.’ CLIA offered its assistance to directly support the port’s Cruise Business Unit with facilitating follow-up meetings/calls with cruise lines.
One of the sessions at the CLIA Executive Summit was a presentation by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) which covered sector benchmarking; comparing travel & tourism employment to other sectors; and cruise growth.
Strong long-term cruise growth is expected between 2017-2027 at four per cent per annum. The cruise industry expects to cater to approximately 26 million passengers for 2017. The industry has seen cruise demand soar up to 60 per cent.
There was also a presentation about security & travel biometrics; the impact of terrorism, health & natural disaster on travel & tourism; sustainability, degradation of natural & cultural assets.
The aforementioned was followed by two breakout sessions with the first one on tourism challenges – are we the victim of our own success? The second session dealt with cruise communities, government affairs and advocacy.
Other sessions during the three-day summit dealt with the state of the industry; destination entertainment as a way to increase guest satisfaction; the definitive ingredients of a memorable shore excursion; and a breakout session related to sustaining long term cruise call volumes.
Established in 1975, CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community.
CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment and is dedicated to promoting the cruise travel experience.
CLIA’s mission is to foster its members’ success by advocating, educating and promoting the common interests of the cruise community; and by representing the interests of the cruise industry community.
CLIA has 60+ cruise lines as members, from ocean to specialty cruise ships who represent more than 95 percent of global cruise capacity. CLIA Cruise Lines serve more than 24 million passengers annually.
There are also 340+ Executive Partner Members comprising of key suppliers and partners to the cruise lines. Executive partners play a major role in the successful operation of cruising, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services.
CLIA also as a network of 15,000 Global Travel Agency and 25,000 Travel Agent Members who include the largest agencies, hosts, franchises and consortia in the world.