Cruise industry’s sustainability priority

Cruise industry’s sustainability priority

The cruise industry is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact, said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises and global chair at the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), on the opening day of the 7th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum in Thessaloniki on Tuesday, highlighting the significance of sustainability.

Vago emphasized that “the cruise industry has made huge technological leaps in less than 15 years as we strive to reach our decarbonization objectives by 2050. For example, MSC Cruises is bringing later this year vessels that are 55% more efficient in terms of CO2 per nautical mile than earlier vessel classes built in 2009.”

In his capacity as global chair of CLIA, Vago spoke to over 400 delegates from the global cruise industry about the association’s efforts to promote the cruise industry’s growth and development worldwide. He emphasized the importance of collaboration between cruise lines, governments and other stakeholders in ensuring the industry’s continued success.

“The cruise industry is a vital part of the global tourism industry, and it has the potential to make a significant contribution to local economies worldwide,” he said. “We are committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that the industry continues to grow and thrive in the years ahead.”

During the forum’s first panel discussion, titled “The Return to Growth: Challenges Ahead for Cruise Lines and Destinations,” Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) Chairman Yu Zenggang said that Piraeus port resumed its cruise operations in May 2021 – faster than other Mediterranean ports – and experienced a significant uptake in the cruise sector in 2021. After a record-breaking year for OLP in 2022, a new cruise terminal is on the way, which, in its final phase, will be able to accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world, said Yu. It is expected to finish in two or three years, following the licensing procedure by the ministries involved and always in good and close cooperation with the Greek government.

Attendees gathered at the Makedonia Palace Hotel expressed optimism and hope for cruise industry’s future growth, with MedCruise President Figen Ayan noting that “this summer we will be even stronger than before. The demand is there, especially for the Eastern Mediterranean and Greece in particular, which is very popular for German tourists.”

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