Tahiti Cruise Club elects Bud Gilroy as new President

On Friday morning February 5th, Tahiti Cruise Club held its Extraordinary General Assembly in Papeete’s Town Council and enabled to measure the progress made since the foundation of this trade organisation, formalised in January 2010, and to appoint its new captain.

French Polynesia has seen its image and tourism economy boosted by the cruise business; this sector generates more than 10 billion French Pacific francs per year of economic benefits these last two years. Since 2012, the number of calls and passenger flow (the equivalent of hotel overnights) has literally doubled.

Encouraging prospects
The activity continues to grow on a variety of segments, with a very beneficial impact on the development of most of the concerned islands.
“Between 2012 and 2015, it is developing more than 20% per year“ says Mr Ollivier Amaru, Tahiti Cruise Club’s founding president. “It is still very unequal from a call to another, and no assurance that such dynamics are preserved; there is still much to do, but the cohesion of all stakeholders, policy makers, public and private, in recent years is a very positive sign that strengthens our determination.”

Franchise and determination
After two successive terms of office, the bar of Tahiti Cruise Club has just changed hands. Working in this perspective in pair for more than six months, Mr Bud Gilroy succeeds to Mr Ollivier Amaru, who remains the president of the South Pacific Cruise Alliance, and therefore always active for the development of the cruise business in the area.

Born in Papeete, graduate in Political Science – International Relations, Mr Bud Gilroy already worked for Renaissance Cruises in 2000. His career has led him to become assistant manager at Transit Sat Nui, then Director of the Maritime Agency of Fare Ute.

He states that “the Tahiti Cruise Club is and must remain a permanent force of expertise, consulting, and marketing, an effective tool made by and for all players of the cruise sector in French Polynesia.”

If it is not simple to enrol in continuity, and ensure succession after Mr Ollivier Amaru, Mr Bud Gilroy would like to bring more emphasis on pedagogy, explanation of the many contributions of the cruise business, with and among stakeholders of each island needing support and help. It should also embody the neutrality of the Tahiti Cruise Club, which since its creation does not favour any cruise company or call, but acts as a model of constant consultation among players to always identify priority actions related to the general interest of the sector.

Continue efforts
In consultation with Tahiti Tourisme and the Ministry of Tourism, marketing actions to cruise lines are all at once a reflection of a united destination and willing to provoke or explore all the opportunities present for the next 3 to 5 years. 
Today – it has not always been the case – all segments are systematically explored, all constraints are also examined, and the resulting actions are planned and implemented. Each point of competitiveness or growth that can be won is the subject of an ongoing concern.

By carrying out improved infrastructures in different islands or building an international cruise terminal – still under consideration – French Polynesia significantly increases the progress of this development with many adjustments, simplifications and efficiency improvements of the regulation obstacles piling up for many years.

It is also in Tahiti that the very first South Pacific Cruise Forum took place in October 2015 with the attendance of many international speakers and more than fifteen South Pacific states and territories.

Similarly, for vessels operating in Polynesia for several consecutive months with turn around operations in Papeete, whatever their passenger volumes, the destination must ensure the fluidity of the operations in each call and a welcome reception worth their major contribution to the local economy. They are pillars for our tourism activity, for the whole chain of tourism stakeholders, it is necessary to accompany them and recognize their trust and commitment to the destination.

In a month, the Seatrade Cruise Global exhibition will be the opportunity to continue the creation and schedule of new routes; to show the progress, opportunities and continuous efforts for the development of the cruise business in French Polynesia. The delegation of fifteen public and private decision makers, led by the Minister of Tourism and Mr Bud Gilroy, invites the ship owners to meet on their booth n° 1309.

(Tahiti Cruise Club)