This meeting was the opportunity to evaluate the situation of the last three years from the creation of the Tahiti Cruise Club and set the future prospects for the next three years.
French Polynesia is an unusual destination because of its navigation zone as wide as Europe; between 10 to 20 different calls are offered amongst 118 islands.
Distant from the main continents, in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, Tahiti must face many specific problems that only a few other destinations meet, in addition to ordinary difficulties of worldwide calls.
The issue is to persuade and prove to international cruise lines that they can navigate in the South Pacific, like elsewhere in the world.
It is essential to restore the competitiveness of the destination in front of all the worldwide ports and oceans.
It is necessary to present to the ship-owners, the will of the country decision-makers, the potential of our region and the new organization set to rationalize, simplify and optimize many aspects of the destination on a long-term basis.
Since its creation in 2010, the Tahiti Cruise Club stepped in several strategic approaches.
The first one refers to a total revision of the current procedures and regulation in order to reach international standards.
After having treated the following matters (tax system, customs, environmental and sanitary issues), French Polynesia is about to become an attractive ‘cruise-friendly’ destination, similar to many others in the world.
Regarding the infrastructures and welcome receptions ashore, once again, many efforts were made and work scheduled for the next months and years.
These are proportioned according to the calls increase and ship sizes operating in French Polynesia.
Moreover, a computing program automatically managing the calls and ships schedules has been created and will be launched in a few weeks.
Finally, a marketing job was steadily achieved by most of the players, through the attendance for four years at Cruise Shipping Miami and by the creation of the South Pacific Cruise Alliance rallying six of the main South Pacific destinations: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti.
This regional cooperation follows the example of many similar groups and clusters formed in each of the major cruising areas in the world, to which the ship owners are used to talk to. These are usually guarantees of reliability and credibility and assure that the efforts are structural, coherent and long-termed.
Following the last decade difficulties and since 2010, these efforts allowed an international cruise shipping increase of the ships expected to call in 2013 and passengers discovering French Polynesia.
Yet, it is necessary to continue the development and not only be satisfied by the concrete progress of the past years.
The objectives to reach in French Polynesia are an average of 600 calls/year and a steady passengers number of 300,000. In 2013, for example, 425 calls are expected for 270,000 passengers (+25% increase compared to 2012.)
The optimization of the ship and passenger quality services, the development of new infrastructures and facilities, the publication of a procedures guide intended to the cruise operators, the reinforcement of the regional cooperation and marketing measures, are all planned for the next 3 years to keep structuring the destination.
Beyond the specific actions, the Tahiti Cruise Club represents the success of an expertise and means synergy of the various country players.