CLIA presents cruise industry’s Action Plan for Greece
to the Greek Government

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Representatives of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), members of the Government, and key stakeholders discussed CLIA’s proposed Action Plan for Greece for the next five years, during a CLIA visit in Athens last week.

Development of homeporting activities, the opening of new destinations, and the need for port infrastructure to meet the requirements of the EU Fit For 55 legislation, as well as the potential for cruise shipbuilding in Greece, the extension of the cruise season, and opportunities for seafarers were all on the agenda.

Represented by Marie Caroline Laurent, Director General of CLIA in Europe and Maria Deligianni, CLIA’s National Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, and joined by cruise line members, CLIA met with the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy Mr. Christos Stylianides, Minister of Culture Ms. Lina Mendoni and the Deputy Minister of Tourism Ms. Elena Rapti.

CLIA’s Director General in Europe, Marie Caroline Laurent, said: “The goal of our proposed Action Plan is to maximise the benefits to Greece from cruising and help to unlock its potential for sustainable growth. Our plan was well received by the Ministers, and we are pleased that our vision is consistent with the Government’s priorities”.

CLIA’s National Director, Eastern Mediterranean Maria Deligianni added: “Greece is seeing great growth in cruising the last years, bringing significant benefits to its economy, generating more than €1,1 billion euros annually and supporting thousands of jobs. We welcome this development and, with great respect for the communities that support the cruise sector, we cooperate on itineraries, port operations, and improved destination management practices, to provide sustainable, optimal experiences for communities and visitors”.

The meeting with the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy Mr. Christos Stylianides confirmed the need for port infrastructure and investments for development of homeporting activities and the opening of new destinations. Discussions also focused on the need of port infrastructure to meet the requirements of the EU Fit For 55 legislation, and production and supply of sustainable marine fuels at key ports in Greece. Discussions also included how the recent revitalization of shipyards in Greece and the potential for cruise shipbuilding could represent a business opportunity for the country. CLIA also shared how it is raising awareness of career opportunities in the cruise sector through educational ship visits for Greek students.

The meeting with Minister of Culture and Sports Ms. Mendoni confirmed that concrete steps are being taken to develop new archaeological sites to highlight the country’s unique cultural history, as well as to improve conditions at existing sites, including the Acropolis in Athens. CLIA congratulated the Minister for the actions already taken to improve the guest experience and noted that the Acropolis of Athens can serve as a model of sustainable tourism management practices for other archaeological sites of global significance.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism Ms. Rapti embraced CLIA’s proposal to work jointly on extending the cruise season and opening new destinations given the wide variety of options that Greece can offer to cruise visitors. CLIA stressed the need for a holistic approach to destination management to manage tourism flows. Discussions also covered the need to encourage partnerships among Eastern Mediterranean countries, highlighting the uniqueness of the region which brings together three continents: Europe, Africa, and Asia. Lastly, the Minister embraced CLIA’s initiative to inform the young people about the vast range of career opportunities in the cruise sector.

The delegation also met the President of Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Mr. Vassilis Korkidis, the President of the Hellenic Ship Suppliers and Exporters Association Mr. Nikolaos Mavrikos, the Director General of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) Ms Katerina Peppa, the General Manager of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) Ms Maria Gatsou, and the Director General of HELMEPA, Ms Olga Stavropoulou.

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