After a productive week in Gibraltar, there is a bright outlook for the cruise industry worldwide and in the Mediterranean, according to officials on hand at the 50th MedCruise General Assembly.
Kerry Anastassiadis, CEO of Celestyal Cruises, stressed that the cruise industry is still tiny compared to global tourism.
“The total number of people going on vacation every year is 1.3 billion. We are so small, the future can only be bright,” he said.
He added that all new ships are being built with concern for environmental impact, thus LNG infrastructure in ports is a key issue going forward.
“Looking at source markets, one of the most important areas is Asia, and local communities (in Europe) should create the right environment for Chinese travelers. They don’t want to sit on a beach but they love to shop. So getting the right environment will get more people in Europe.” Anastassiadis continued.
Another key point is that the Western Mediterranean is up in numbers while the Eastern is still suffering from the geopolitical situation according to Figen Ayan, speaking on behalf of the port of Istanbul.
She said it’s all about perception, because even with improved security the country is still not recognized as a safe area.
There was also a key workshop on Friday at the MedCruise event where cruise lines were able to discuss improving port operations in the Mediterranean, with key participation from representatives from Silversea, Disney, and Carnival UK.