Wednesday, December 01, 2010
The Seatrade Med Cruise Convention has debuted in France, with 2000 participants having streamed through the doors of the Palais des Festivals et des Congres in Cannes by lunchtime on day one. The event will run over three days and play host to an industry conference, a showcase exhibition, Cruise Agent Day by Top Cruise as well as an exceptional social programme.
The convention was officially inaugurated this morning by a VIP delegation that included Bernard Brochand, Deputy Mayor of Cannes as well as representatives from CCI Nice, Grasse, Villefrance-sur-Mer, the Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur region, Seatrade and UBM Live.
Regional industry booming with vast potential still untapped.
Delegates packed the conference suite at this morning’s opening session to hear industry leaders upbeat on the rapid expansion of the Mediterranean cruise market. MSC Cruises’ CEO, Pierfrancesco Vago noted that Europe is the fastest growing source market in the world and added that with some 196m people (39% of the population) living in coastal regions and some 180 European ports, the potential is vast.
On a cautionary note, Carnival UK CEO David Dingle warned against real threats to the industry from “ill thought-out” environmental regulation, with sulphur content in fuel being the biggest problem. “You cannot overestimate environmental issues” he added.
French cruise market going from strength to strength.
A survey of 30 ports and 20 maritime and river shipping companies on the growth of the cruise industry in France, conducted by the National Tourism Council and previewed today during Cruise Agent Day by Top Cruise, revealed that since 2000 the number of cruise passengers to France has tripled. This year 2m passengers visited France on 1600 cruise calls, figures that pave the way for concrete recommendations to be made to public authorities and tourist industry professionals.
Seatrade’s chairman, Chris Hayman, said, “The Mediterranean is now the second most popular cruise destination, after the Caribbean. We are delighted to bring Seatrade Med to France for the first time, recognising the economic importance of the cruise industry to this country, with its world-renowned cruise shipbuilding and ship technology industry. With 5m Europeans now cruising, France, which boasts the longest coastline in Europe, is in an ideal position to benefit from the economic impact of the growing Mediterranean cruise market.”
He also saluted the outstanding work of the French Riviera Cruise Club, organising partners for Seatrade Med 2010, in raising awareness of the cruise industry among local businesses and other regional economic players.
Exhibition open for business
Shipbuilders STX Europe and cruise market newcomers Daewoo Shipbuilding of Korea, plus technical suppliers such as ADT Fire & Security Italia S.p.A, HMS S.A, Mitel Corporation and Desso B.V. are showcasing their latest innovations on the Seatrade Med floor. This year’s exhibition hosts 153 exhibitors from 42 countries. Added to the mix of regional ports, tourist boards and DMCs is a heavy scattering of global destinations, including Dubai Cruise Terminal, the Caribbean Village, the Port of Halifax (Canada), Cruise Canada New England, Cruise Indian Ocean Association, NYCruise, Puerto Costa Maya and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Republic of Indonesia. MedCruise, principal supporter of Seatrade Med, is hosting numerous mini press conferences and events on what, at just over 700 sqm, is their largest ever pavilion at the show.
Elsewhere in the show, cruise agents are taking part in Top Cruise’s Cruise Agent Day, with a programme of cruise line workshops and destination conferences as well as time on the exhibition floor and the chance to win a fabulous cruise on MSC Splendida, offered by MSC Cruises, in a prize draw this afternoon.
Principal sponsors of Seatrade Med 2010 are the City of Nice, Conseil General Alpes-Maritimes, Palais des Festivals et des Congres, Region Provence Alpes Cote D’Azur and Riviera Ports Authority. Other main sponsors of the event are Antibes Port Vauban, Atout France, Club Croisiere Corsica, Fidelio Cruise Software GmbH, Hepburn Bio Care, Marseille Provence Cruise Club, MedCruise, MSC Cruises, STX Europe, Syndicat des Hoteliers de Cannes et Environs, Var Provence Cruise Club (VPCC) and Villefranche sur Mer.