This year’s Mediterranean Cruise Industry Keynote panel at Seatrade Cruise Med to be held in Malaga between 14th and 15th September, in partnership with CLIA Europe, and sponsored by Cruise Saudi, includes many of the leading players in the cruise industry.
Kicking off on the expo’s first day, the panel will include MedCruise President, Figen Ayan, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe Director General, Marie-Caroline Laurent, MSC Cruises CEO, Gianni Onorato, Celestyal Cruises CEO, Chris Theophilides and Costa Cruises President, Mario Zanetti.
Preceding this event will be a special address from CLIA led by Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division, MSC Group and CLIA Global Chairman.
On the same day, Ioannis Pappas, Director, Mediterranean region, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), will join ‘Destination Stewardship: The Integrity of the Local Community’ in the Auditorium to evaluate how destinations and cruise lines can motivate and involve their passengers in actions towards more sustainable tourism practices, while addressing commitments to destinations visited and their local communities.
A day later, Marcus Puttich, TUI Cruises Senior Head of Port Management & Operations, and Tim Littley, Senior Director, Deployment & Itinerary Planning, Seabourn Cruise Line will participate in ‘The Intricacies of Sustainable Itinerary Planning.’
They will focus on how itinerary planners are preparing for shore power and other sustainable options, their influence on less sustainable ports/ destinations and how sustainability may impact itineraries.
Marketing and technology
Leah Chandler, CMO Puerto Rico Destination Marketing, Discover Puerto Rico, will appear on ‘The Great Comeback: Marketing Strategies Behind Reviving Destination Tourism’ panel on 14th September at the Showcase Deck on the Show Floor, which will examine destinations’ strategies to capitalise on their offerings amid the pandemic and challenging geopolitical events.
Also taking place at the Showcase Deck on day one, ‘Using Smart Technology to Our Advantage: Increasing Efficiency and Tackling Overcrowding’, will see Odette McFarlane Director, Home Port Operations, Carnival UK, involved in a discussion, alongside Lofti Trabelsi, Director, Port Services EMEA, Royal Caribbean International, on ways digitalisation can be harnessed to to help address destination overcrowding.
With technology substituting staff – for check-in and organising tours, for example – Paul Rutterford, Operations Director, Viking Crew, will give a light on what the future may look like for tour operators and shoreside experiences, and whether technology poses a viable alternative, in the ‘Human vs Machine: the Impact of Technology on Shoreside Experiences’ conference session on the second day.
Luxury cruising and younger travellers
Mark Robinson, Vice President Cruise Operations, Scenic Group and Michael Ungerer, CEO, Explora Journeys, will deliver their insights in the ‘Redefining Luxury Cruising’ panel to be held in the Auditorium on 14th September, which will review the evolution of destination immersion as a luxury signifier.
Other criteria defining luxury cruising – both from an on board perspective and shoreside experience – will also go under the microscope.
Ideas on ‘Attracting Millennials to Cruise: The Next Generation’ will come from Filippos Venetopoulos, CEO, Variety Cruises and Tarvo Topolev, CEO and co-founder of RebelRoam, as part of the conference programme on the same day.
They will help to explore ways experiences can be tailored towards millennials, the type of experiences younger people are looking for and how cruise lines and destinations may cater to this shift, from shoreside to on board the ship.
Med under the spotlight
Aleksander Bienek, Vice President Marine Operations, Star Clippers will join ‘The Changing Geography of the Med: Adapting and Improvising’ panel on 15th September in the Auditorium.
This panel will look at making use of emerging and/or less frequented destinations in itinerary planning, as well as the development of new experiences across the Mediterranean and its adjoining seas. It will also look at changes in deployment due the current geopolitical climate and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Health and safety
Also in the Auditorium on the second day, Dennis Tetzlaff, Vice President, Fleet Operations & Newbuild, TUI Cruises, will discuss mitigating passengers’ fear of travelling in current times, as part of the ‘Health & Safety: Change and Collaboration’ panel.
With the industry returning to full swing, he will weigh up how cruise lines and ports can work together more efficiently to contribute to seamless passenger experiences – plus review any challenges health and safety regulations pose to itinerary planning.
More information on the speaker line up for ‘Are you Fit for 55?’ and ‘Beyond the Poles: Expedition Workshop’ will be revealed soon, the organisers said.
To learn more about Seatrade Cruise Med 2022 and for the latest event details, visit www.seatradecruiseevents.com/med.