The Port Authority of the Balearic Islands (APB) has joined the ‘CRUISE 2030 CALL FOR ACTION’ initiative, led by Venice, to find a way for the cruise industry to be compatible with the demands of European ports.
Last month, the first meeting of the working group, which included some of the main European Cruise ports, took place in Venice. An International Transport Forum representative also attended the meeting.
Delegations from seven of the main cruise destinations in Europe – Amsterdam, Palma de Mallorca, Bergen, Cannes, Dubrovnik, Malaga, and Marseille/Fos – attended the meeting.
The main goal of the initiative is to find a common platform of customised initiatives to support the development of the cruise industry in a sustainable manner, by matching the needs of the industry with the demands of the cities and territories visited.
Participants agreed on the importance of the economical and occupational aspects of the cruise industry but, at the same time, they have expressed a need to action in a co-ordinated manner to reduce or eliminate the impacts and burdens related to the cruise industry, thus re-thinking with the operators the business model adopted.
During the meeting, each port had the opportunity to underline the main issues faced, and how these are tackled. In order to achieve a better understanding, the Port of Venice performed a survey and an assessment to identify the specific needs and actions necessary for each port.
The next meeting is scheduled for next January, hosted by the Port of Palma de Mallorca. In the meantime, the participants have agreed to work towards the drafting of a common action plan with the aim to present the next meeting with a statement to be approved and adopted as a working document.
Many topics were discussed, the most significant of which are summarised as follows:
• all ports confirm their commitment on tackling the environmental aspects, especially on reducing emissions, with specific solutions being designed in the different ports
• there is the need to find a workable and feasible compromise between the vessels’ sizes and the geographical and physical characteristics of the European ports, many of which are significantly different from the ports in the rest of the world
• the need to improve the organisational aspect of the whole logistics chain, in order to minimise the impact of congestion and of the negative effects on the urban area and the quality of life in each destination
• the need to assess in a scientific, fact-based, figure-based, manner, the impacts and implications of the cruise industry on ports and their surrounding areas
•as a result, there is the need to build a social, environmental and economic acceptability towards the industry from cities, regions, citizens.