Valletta (Malta) was for a week the centre of the Mediterranean and its adjoining seas cruise industry developments, hosting the major cruise event, the 52nd MedCruise General Assembly, May 23rd-26th. More than 140 delegates from MedCruise port and associate members, cruise lines executives, international media journalists and local authorities gathered in Valletta, the European Capital of Culture 2018, to discuss the latest trends and develop synergies towards sustainable cruise services.
During the opening ceremony, Airam Díaz Pastor, President of MedCruise empahasized "We are honoured that Valletta Cruise Port, a founding member of MedCruise in 1996, hosts our 52nd General Assembly. The MedCruise General Assembly has established itself as one of the most important cruise events in the Mediterranean and adjoining seas, bringing together cruise ports and their partners with guests’ executives of cruise companies and representatives of the international press. Our prestigious association, as a key member of the industry, is committed to the new opportunities and challenges that are to come. We hope to contribute during a Golden Age of our industry that brings more capacity, requires new investments and needs the collaboration between the stakeholders –ports, terminal operators, municipalities and cruise lines."
Issues and the work that has been advanced by the Board of Directors and the two Working Groups during the last six months as regards the ports and cities & destinations, the new edition of Professional Development Course, the new marketing and promotion plan, the North Africa and Black Sea regions promotion actions, the development of new partnerships and events participation, the European Union affairs, projects and studies, sustainability and environmental issues, cooperation with other Associations, and new source markets were discussed during the internal matters session.
In specialised interactive sessions, MedCruise members along with cruise line executives had the chance to discuss in detail about Schengen procedures, cruise market future developments and infrastructure investments cruise terminals in MedCruise regions among other topics at the “Trends in the Med” session.
The “LNG & New Regulations” session focused on the port developments to provide LNG bunkering services to cruise ships. In the same line, during the “Shipbuilding and Port Development” session was discussed berthing policies and port facilities. Finally, different views on “Cooperation Between Ports, Destinations & Cruise Companies” were presented.
In line with the MedCruise tradition, all port and associate members had a first-class opportunity to enjoy sessions of 10-minute-B2B-meetings with cruise line executives and international press representatives.
Stephen Xuereb, CEO of Valletta Cruise Port and COO of Global Ports Holdings said, “Valletta Cruise Port is proud to have hosted this key event and having had the opportunity to welcome the Association back to its roots. As a founding member of MedCruise, it gives us great pleasure to have witnessed the growth of the Association since its inception to the great family it is today. It has been indeed a fruitful event, bringing together key industry stakeholders to discuss the cruise industry in the Mediterranean. This event has allowed us to proudly showcase our historic port and Malta to our esteemed guests, in a year in which Valletta is being celebrated as the European Capital of Culture 2018.”
MedCruise continues to expand its membership and seven new members were welcomed during the 52nd General Assembly; three port members –Canarian Ports, Catania and Tangier - and four associate members – Algeria Cruise Services, Kuoni Destination Management, Tenerife Tourism Board and Trainose.
Valletta Cruise Port was an excellent host and organiser. All guests enjoyed a marvellous time in Malta and are looking forward to meeting again in the 53rd General Assembly in Lisbon (Portugal) during Seatrade Cruise Med 2018.