The French Minister of Tourism and other officials while touring MV Orient Queen The French Ministry of Tourism and the AFFC (Association of French Ferries & Cruise Companies) held a meeting on board the Louis Cruises MV Orient Queen on July 20th 2009 highlighting the continuous growth of the French cruise market and its important contribution to the overall French tourism industry.

The French Minister of Tourism, Mr. Herve Novelli arrived at the Marseilles Provence Cruise Terminal, which is now managed by the Costa, MSC and Louis consortium, and was welcomed by the head of Louis Cruises in France Mr. Yannis Vassilakopoulos in the name of the said consortium. The Minister then embarked onboard MV Orient Queen whereby her Master and Officers provided a guided tour.

In his welcome speech Mr. Vassilakopoulos as Vice president of the AFFC, underlined the fact that cruising is the fastest growing tourism sector in the world and stated that the Marseilles Provence Cruise Terminal and France in general are already capitalizing on their key position in the Mediterranean and thus attracting an increasing number of passengers to the French shores and the port itself. It is precisely for this reason, said Mr. Vassilakopoulos, that the consortium has committed to substantially increasing the number of passengers using the Marseilles port and remains focused on achieving this noble cause. Mr. Vassilakopoulos also highlighted Louis Cruises’ continuous efforts in further developing cruising in France and briefed the Minister and other officials on the multifaceted action that is being taken in promoting cruising in France but also France and Marseille as a cruise hub in the Mediterranean.

The French Minister of Tourism in his speech acknowledged the importance of cruising and its immense potential as well as its role in enriching the French tourism product. He applauded the development of Marseilles into a major cruise hub in the Mediterranean and the fact that it is increasingly becoming popular with cruise operators and passengers alike.