The commitment of Catalonian to the cruise industry, initiated by the Port of Barcelona just over 20 years ago and now followed by Ports de la Generalitat andby the Port of Tarragona, as well as the potential of these enclaves was evident during the celebration of the last General Assembly of MedCruise, an association which includes over a hundred cruise ports in the Mediterranean area and representatives of associations, shipping agents and tourism consortia.

The Catalan ports were represented in the 43rd MedCruise General Assembly, held from 13 to 16 November in Alanya (Turkey), by Carla Salvadó, Director of Cruise Marketing for the Port of Barcelona and Head of Promotion and External Relations of the cruise association, and by María Cano, responsible for Cruises in the Ports de la Generalitat and for Professional Development on the MedCruise board of Directors.

Both took part in the discussions held during the meeting concerning "the best way forward collectively in the prospects of our ports through the work of the association" as mentioned by MedCruise.

During this 43rd General Assembly, a recently finished study drawn up by MedCruise analysing the different management model financing options for ports and cruise terminals was presented. The study, explained the association, "includes different models with both public and private financing alternatives, as well as different levels of alliances with cruise lines."

"Until now, - pointed out MedCruise - the trend in the Mediterranean has been the privatization of cruise terminals". At present, according to the study, 41% of the terminals are publicly owned, 31% are in private hands and 27% are managed by a public-private consortium.

The conferences that took place during the Assembly included the participation of representatives from some of the leading companies in the industry: Azamara Club Cruises, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line , TUI , Disney, Windstar and Royal Caribbean, as well as agents such as Intercruises .

In addition, MedCruise members had the opportunity to hold meetings with executives from the major cruise lines.

Good prospects

The Catalan representation in the MedCruise General Assembly attended the meeting this time with the satisfaction of being on the verge of concluding a very good year.

On the one hand, the Port of Barcelona will end the current year with more than 2.4 million cruise passengers, breaking records and equalling the figures for its best year to date in this type of traffic, 2011.

Furthermore, Ports de la Generalitat will also end the current year by increasing the number of cruise passengers and has presented some interesting prospects for 2014. Thus, Palamós and Roses ports, both located in Girona, and Sant Carles de la Rapita in Tarragona, next year will increase the number of cruise passengers by 48 %. This year will close with a traffic of 31,000 passengers on both ports of the Costa Brava and a total of 43 stopovers, while for 2014 a movement of 46,000 cruise passengers is anticipated and a total of 63 stopovers in the two enclaves and in Tarragona, to be opened to the cruise industry for the first time.

The next MedCruise General Assembly will be held in Castellón from 21 to 25 May next year.





Source: Diario del Puerto





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