Alan Lam reporting from Toulon
Hosted by the French port city of Toulon, MedCruise celebrated its 51st General Assembly during 11-14 October. The focus of this gathering was steadfastly on defining Mediterranean’s place in the context of today’s global cruise tourism and – under the new presidency of Airam Diaz, Commercial Director of Tenerife Ports – preparing it for the challenges of tomorrow.
For quite a while now the region has been facing obstinate geopolitical problems in the east and in the south. In the years to come MedCruise recognises that it will also have to face the issues associated with over-tourism and hosting bigger ships.
While efforts are made to attract passengers from source markets in such regions as Asia and North America, the association and its members must prepare themselves for the diverse and changing needs of cruise lines and their passengers. Shore side services cannot be one-size-fits-all; they must be tailored to meet specific needs of individual cruise brands and, as much as possible, offer personalised services to passengers in accordance to market segments and nationalities.
To achieve this, stakeholders must begin dialogues with one another and further enhance cooperation among them in order to tell the story of cruising in the Mediterranean.
For the first time, a representative of Virgin Voyages attended MedCruise conference. The line will deploy its second newbuilding, scheduled for delivery in 2021, in the Mediterranean. Craig Milan, VP, Itinerary & Destination Development, has been exploring options in the region. In response, MedCruise members have been passionately promoting their ports to this new cruise line by actively starting dialogues with Milan.
A full analytical feature of this assembly will appear in the next issue of Cruise Business Review – MedCruise’s media partner.