Seatrade Cruise Med - the world’s largest cruise industry event focussed on the Mediterranean and its adjoining seas – opened today in Lisbon, Portugal and continues until Thursday 20th September at FIL – Lisbon Exhibition and Congress Centre.
Hosted by the Port of Lisbon Authority and supported by MedCruise and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the event features a showcase exhibition, conference and a full networking programme. It is part of Portugal Shipping Week.
On the opening morning, Portugal’s Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, addressed more than 350 delegates in her welcome speech and said it was an excellent opportunity for Portuguese companies to showcase themselves to the cruise industry and for all government, public entities and private stakeholders to work together to build the future.
Also taking to the stage as part of the welcome were: Vice President of the Municipality of Lisbon, Mr Duarte Cordeiro and Portugal Secretary of State for Tourism, Mrs Ana Mendes Godhino.
In his keynote, Airam Diaz Pastor, President, MedCruise & Commercial Director, Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife told the packed room that the Mediterranean is facing a bright future with more capacity arriving and more investment in port infrastructure.
Taking to the stage, Chairman, CLIA Europe & Chairman, Carnival UK, David Dingle spoke with his CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) hat and made mention to the fact that the state of the cruise industry is ‘very good indeed’.
He said: “Last year, 26.7 million cruises were taken the world over…6% growth over the previous year. Assuming occupancy levels remain broadly the same this year, over 28 million cruises will have been sold in 2018, a further 5% growth. European source market growth has continued steadily and if anything has been capacity-constrained due to the redeployment of some ships to Asia and other places. In 2017, 26% of global cruise sales were in Europe, but we comfortably predict that this will rise to 28% in 2018 and 2019 as more capacity begins to arrive.”
Looking at Europe specifically, he added: “Looking at Europe as a source market, a destination and an industrial hub, what is most impressive is the growth in the economic contribution of the European cruise industry – near on €48 billion in 2017, a 16.9% increase since the last survey in 2015. That’s a phenomenal rise, and it comes from source market growth, more cruise operating activities in Europe and more cruise ship building, which has grown by more than 22% compared with 2015 as the order book has increased to record levels, a remarkable 66 new ships by 2021 worth almost €30 billion.
“With 7 million cruise sales in 2017, 8% more than 2015, Europe is the world’s second biggest source market. Over 80% of those European sales were for cruises in Europe, and adding to these the numbers of Americans, Asians and Australians coming to Europe to cruise, 6.5 million people took a cruise here last year, 6% more than in 2015.
“I can see every reason for the European cruise economy to continue to grow at this rate. Even with 7 million cruises sold, European market penetration is no more than 2% of the total population whilst for North America and Australia that figure is closer to 4%. The new orders destined for Europe will drive a new surge in demand.
Whilst the conference area was busy, the showfloor was also vibrant more than 2,700 attendees from 105 countries anticipated over the two days with plenty of exhibitor activities including: A Taste of Portugal networking events hosted by Cruise Portugal; a Cruise Europe Happy Hour; Caribbean Village ‘A Taste of the Tropics’ Welcome Reception and Region Sud Provence French Riviera Cocktail Reception.
Seatrade Cruise Med is held biennially and is this year hosted by the Port of Lisbon Authority with principal sponsor and supporter, MedCruise (The Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports), of which Lisbon has been a member since 2000.
Principal regional sponsors include: República Portuguesa-Mar; Lisboa Câmara Municipal; Turismo de Portugal; Turismo de Lisboa; Lisbon Cruise Port; ANA Aeroportas de Portugal.
Sponsors include: Andalucía – Costa de Almeria; Caribbean Village; Delta Cafés; Docapesca; DP World; Gibraltar Tourist Board; Global Ports Holding; Greek National Tourism Organisation; Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services; Pasteis De Belém; Qatar Tourism Authority; Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur; ViaVerde and Wärtsilä.
Supporters include: Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA). Official Carrier is TAP Air Portugal; The Media Sponsor is: BBC World News; Official Hotel is Olissipo Hotels; Mercy Ships is the Seatrade Cruise Med Chosen Charity; Sustainability Partner is EPAL; Seatrade Cruise Med is part of Portugal Shipping Week.