The biennial Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum returns to Athens this May for its fifth edition – this time at a new venue – at which it will be celebrating the industry’s renewed optimism for cruising in the Eastern Mediterranean, Posidonia Exhibitions announced on Monday, noting that some of the region’s key destinations, homeports and host countries are experiencing the first promising signs of recovery following a three-year slump due to geopolitical tensions.
The region’s earlier-than-expected rebound was aided by Greece’s consistent performance as a destination of global appeal, keeping cruising in the area alive until Turkey started to be reinstated as a viable cruise destination.
Also important is the gradual reinclusion of Israel and Egypt in niche itineraries that seek to reopen highly commercial cruise routes that deliver a fuller experience of the region’s unique diversity. With a global fleet expansion that will augment total berth capacity by 7.5 percent, 2019 is seen as the year that will bring new strategic developments which will also help re-establish the Eastern Med as a major cruise development theater.
“We have a record year for newbuilding deliveries, as the 24 cruise vessels that come on line in 2019 constitute the largest number ever in a single year. Collectively this will add a total of 42,488 new berths to the global capacity that need to be filled gainfully,” said Theodore Vokos, managing director of Posidonia Exhibitions SA.
The event will be held on May 28-29 at the Domotel Kastri Conference Center in northern Athens.