Malta Business and its partner Euromed International Trade will be protagonists on the third and last day of Medaweek Barcelona 2021, the great event dedicated to the world of business organized every year by ASCAME, Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce. The appointment to mark in your diary is Friday 19 November 2021 at 15.00 for the Mediterranean Cruise Industry Conference, a conference dedicated to the cruise sector which will be moderated by Caterina Passariello, Project Manager of Malta Business Agency and analyst of our information website.
The cruise sector represents one of the most flourishing segments of the international tourism market in recent years, and sees the Mediterranean fully involved in this boom. The Mediterranean region is a very complete tourist destination as it offers a wide variety of landscapes and cultural and culinary activities, with a satisfactory quality-price ratio. Moreover, it can be enjoyed by all age groups throughout the year.
Although the Mediterranean is the world’s second destination for cruise ships, after the Caribbean, it has the potential to become the first port of arrival due to its excellent climatic conditions that allow for a long cruise season, as well as the attractiveness of its diversity of cultures and differentiated itineraries. The world’s leading cruise operators and companies are aware of this promising and strategic growth space, and have already positioned themselves in the region to gain competitive advantages in this market.
In fact, cruise travel is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry, with demand increasing by 20.5% over the past five years. Some 29 million people have chosen to go on a cruise in 2019. And as of today there are more than 150 cruise ports in the Mediterranean coasts and about 70 operators, Barcelona being the main hub for all cruises and itineraries in the southern and eastern Mediterranean.
The cruise industry makes 45 billion euros a year and generates about 320,000 jobs. It can be said without a shadow of a doubt that this sector plays a very important role in both the shipping and tourism industries. And its impressive production chain of direct and indirect goods and services associated with this sector acts as a strong economic driver.
However, the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected Mediterranean economies as never before, especially in the world of tourism. And after governments across the region focused on launching and implementing extraordinary measures focused primarily on those industries and production sectors, the time has come to plan for the recovery of key leisure sectors by combining sustainability and profitability.
Among the speakers who will speak at the November 19 conference, live from Casa Llotia de Mar (Barcelona) and online, the presence of important names such as Mar Pérez, Head of the Cruise Department for the Port of Barcelona; Ukko Metsola, Director General of Cruise Lines International Association Europe; and Pino Musolino, President of the Port System Authority of the Central-Northern Tyrrhenian Sea, is already confirmed.