Burgas, Bulgaria, Cruise capital of the Mediterranean for the 63rd MedCruise General Assembly

Burgas, Bulgaria, Cruise capital of the Mediterranean for the 63rd MedCruise General Assembly  (Image at LateCruiseNews.com - October 2023)For the first time a MedCruise General Assembly is hosted by the Port of Burgas, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea, from 10th to 13th October 2023.

A great occasion for more than one hundred professionals from the industry to be updated about the state of the industry in the Mediterranean, the second largest cruise market in the world, the activity of the MedCruise, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports, and to get to know the port and city of Burgas.

After a successful General Assembly in Corfu, Greece the members of MedCruise and the Cruise community have gathered in Burgas, Bulgaria, from 10th-13th October, 2023.

MedCruise, with its inclusive membership, continues to be a vibrant organisation, advancing cruise activities all over the region. The General Assembly provides a unique opportunity to come together to shape the future of the sector, in yet another beautiful cruise port, on this occasion in an adjoining sea of the Mediterranean.

The programme of the General Assembly includes activities dedicated to members, associate members and others dedicated to the guests with plenary sessions, presentations and business-to-business meetings.

During the event professionals from the main cruise companies that operate in the Med, media companies specialising in the cruise industry, tourism industry, bloggers, influencers and more than hundred participants including Members and Associate Members, are discussing a variety of interesting topics.

The official launch of the General Assembly was held in the Chernomorie Hall at the International Congress Center, Burgas, Bulgaria whilst the conference programme started on Wednesday 11th October.

In particular, the panels of the plenary sessions will focus on:

> A presentation on the importance of BlueMissionMed for MedCruise,
> Love thy neighbours: strengthening the cruise destination through port-city relations and the engagement of the local community,
> Navigating choppy waters: how geo-political risks can impact cruise regions and cruise ports,
> The Ealing project – European flagship action for cold ironing in port
> developing a must-see destination for cruises
> A presentation and analysis on the survey on, onshore power supply and waste management in ports, conducted by MedCruise, port investment and development – invest for more calls, is it the right equation?

Following the established formula of a MedCruise General Assembly, all the members and associate members are able to reserve slots for B2B meetings with all the participants, in order to make most of networking opportunities, that provide cruise companies with a unique opportunity to meet port representatives, celebrate achievements, discuss emerging and challenging issues and strengthen business relationships. The event will also provide an opportunity to discover Burgas’s unique attractions with specially tailored events.

Figen Ayan, President of MedCruise said, “We are very excited to see the MedCruise family, the cruise industry, international cruise press, bloggers and influencers and press representatives from Bulgaria for the first time in the beautiful Port of Burgas, on the Black Sea adjoining the Mediterranean. The entire sector has demonstrated resilience in the last few years and is set to make a complete recovery in 2023. We thank the team at the Port of Burgas, its municipality, the related ministries and all the supporters that have made this event possible.”

Georgi Gvozdejkov, Minister for Transport and Communications, Republic of Bulgaria said,“Dear participants in the 63rd General Assembly of MedCruise,I am honored to be the patron of the 63rd General Assembly of the largest Cruise Association in Europe. Hosting the forum is a recognition of the strategic vision of the Bulgarian Government for the development of cruise tourism and for promoting the Black Sea as a destination with rich cultural and historical heritage.Discussions and meetings between cruise line managers and ports are an opportunity to place the Bulgarian ports again on the map of holiday trips by ship in the region.

The cruise industry is the most dynamically developing sector in tourism. In recent years, however, it has suffered the negative consequences of the Covid pandemic. In the Black Sea region, passenger travel was not restored due to the war in Ukraine and the complicated geopolitical situation. Despite the reasons not dependent on the Bulgarian ports for the decline of cruise visits in Bulgaria, their managements show activity and perseverance in the efforts for their resumption. In this direction, Black Sea Working Group (BSWG) – a working group at MedCruise, uniting the Black Sea cruise ports, including Burgas and Varna, is also working hard. Port Burgas EAD is the first Bulgarian port to be accepted as a member of MedCruise in 2015. As the host of the prestigious event, the city will be visited by nearly 200 representatives of the cruise industry. This event is an extremely strong international advertising not only of the city, but also of Bulgaria as a destination. We have the opportunity to stress once again the importance of cruise travel for the development of tourism on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast and to fully exploit the potential of the Bulgarian seaports. I wish you good luck at the forum!

Zaritsa Dinkova, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Bulgaria said “The cruise industry is one of the most dynamically developing sectors in tourism. Organizing the MedCruise Assembly in Burgas is both a recognition and a responsibility to present Bulgaria as an interesting and safe tourist destination. Medcruise is Europe’s largest cruise association which, with its inclusive membership continues to be a vibrant organization advancing cruise activities in the region. Today, it covers 22 countries on three different continents – Africa, Asia and Europe, representing more than 150 ports, including port of Burgas and port of Varna. I hope that with joint efforts we will help to attract passenger ships to the Black Sea and in particular to the Bulgarian ports, thereby turning our country into a cruise destination.”

Plamen Yanev, Regional Governor of Burgas Region said “It’s my honour to welcome you to the opening of the 63rd MedCruise General Assembly. You’re the people who are committed to the development of the cruise industry and I want to emphasize that your support is essential in these dynamic times. We are here to look towards the future with hope and determination. After the Covid wave, the cruise industry is facing new challenges. The complex geopolitical situation hinders the development of this sector, which is of key importance for the economy and tourism in the region. But the fact that we are gathered here is a proof that we are looking for solutions! I really hope that this General Assembly will be the place where we will join forces and build strategies to overcome these obstacles. Our mutual efforts will create a more sustainable future for the cruise industry in the Mediterranean and its adjacent seas. I wish success to all participants!”

(Burgas, Bulgaria, Cruise capital of the Mediterranean for the 63rd MedCruise General Assembly – MedCruise)