The Malta Tourism Authority in collaboration with Valletta Cruise Port supported the organisation of the prestigious CLIA’s Cruise360 conference last October, with over 120 guests including travel agents, travel media and other partners. The 3-day conference served not only as a three-day event inclusive of ship inspections, but also as a networking and professional development opportunity for travel agents visiting Malta for the first time.
Established in 1975, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world's largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment and is dedicated to promoting the cruise travel experience. CLIA helps its members succeed by advocating, educating and promoting for the common interests of the cruise community.
Andy Harmer, Director at CLIA UK and Ireland took to the floor to reveal two brand-new CLIA initiatives focusing on the New to Cruise market. CLIA will be having a New to Cruise Guide, a continuously updated online resource. Additionally, a new classroom-style New to Cruise Workshops will launch in May 2020.
During the Malta event guests had the opportunity to visit Koningsdam, Seven Seas Voyager, Celebrity Edge and Azamara Pursuit berthed in Valletta’s historic Grand Harbour. An engaging trade fair was held at the Malta Conference Centre, complemented by informative conference sessions. Guests also enjoyed a welcome reception at Marina Club on the Valletta Waterfront with a gala dinner being held in the historic Magazino Hall which also is the main cruise check-in facility for Valletta.
“We were delighted to host travel agents and cruise lines from across Europe in Malta for Cruise360. When on a cruise, the destinations visited are just as important as the ship, which is why we chose the beautiful capital city of Valletta for this event. Agents were able to explore Valletta and discover what makes the city such a popular cruise destination, as well as have the opportunity to visit the fantastic cruise ships docked in port,” commented Harmer.
“We are proud to have hosted this trade gathering in our historic port, and get to know some of the partners who actively work to help grow this dynamic industry in the UK and Ireland,” said Stephen Xuereb, Chief Operating Officer for Global Ports Holding and Chief Executive Officer of Valletta Cruise Port.
During his speech, the Malta Tourism Authority Deputy CEO & CMO Carlo Micallef stated that “The Grand Harbour in Valletta has enjoyed one of its busiest summers on record. Moreover, the cruise industry is an important contributor to the Maltese economy, not only to the business community in Valletta and the Grand Harbor region in particular, but also to the old capital and silent city of Malta, Mdina. Apart from the resultant promotion of our Islands, surveys have shown that many cruise passengers are intrigued to return to Malta and Gozo for a longer holiday soon after.”