Cruise Europe council members attend IAPH in China

Attended by more than 1,000 delegates, accompanying persons, speakers and experts from 60 countries and regions, the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH World Ports Conference) was held in May in Guangzhou, China.

CE council member Sacha Rougier, managing director Cruise Gate Hamburg, as chair of the IAPH cruise committee was involved in organising the cruise session. She and fellow CE council member, Ingvar Mathisen, port director Port of Oslo, represented Europe and the Baltic on the panel, while Jeanine Drummond represented the Australian region, Jeff Bent the Hong Kong region and a representative from Guangzhou Port Authority (hosts of the conference in cooperation with the city of Guangzhou) the Chinese region.

The session was moderated by Luis de Carvalho from Bermello & Ajamil who gave an overview of the evolution of the cruise business, the challenges and the trends and some input on the emerging markets.

In a presentation, Raymond Lim, svp planning and port management Genting (owners of Star Cruises, Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises), mentioned the need to optimise infrastructure, processes and policies that will be of paramount importance to the eventual success of cruise tourism in the Asia Pacific Region, which has a great potential for further growth and development.

The panel contributed experiences from ports all over the world covering the do’s and don’ts in the world of cruising as well as offering up five lessons for delegates to take home.

Rougier and Mathisen summed these up as follows:

Ports should be aware of/work on:

The increasing demand for higher specifications in port facilities: longer berths and deeper draughts to accommodate more/larger ships.

The functionality of a terminal: steady improvements for processes in the terminal and customs and immigration to be able to handle the extra passengers that come from accommodating the bigger ships.

Enhancements of attractions in cruise ports: we know our ports and cities better than any itinerary planner, so we should provide this information to the cruiselines.

Listen to cruiselines, understand your market and your customers: adapt your product to the market, work together with your clients, share the operating experience with them, accept professional advice.

Accessibility of the city: make sure that your terminal is easy to reach by all transport means. Make sure to have good connecting flights with the countries where the cruise passengers come from.

Finally the IAPH Cruise Committee’s strategy for cruise for the next few years was announced.

(Cruise Europe)