The framework of operation, challenges, developments and priorities of Greece’s cruise industry were the focus of the first National Coordinating Committee for Cruise Affairs meeting held on Wednesday at Piraeus Port Authority headquarters.
The newly set up 28-member committee – with representatives from the shipping and island policy, tourism and interior ministries, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Hellenic Ports Association (ELIME) and the Union of Cruise Shipowners and Associated Members (EEKFN) – will meet four times a year and will include a seven-member audit committee which will monitor the progress of working groups assigned relevant projects.
“The national coordinating committee will prove to be an important tool in the national effort for the development of marine tourism and cruise travel, and we must work together in a targeted and coordinated manner to face the challenges and utilize all opportunities to achieve the best results,” Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said on Wednesday.
Addressing the committee, Shipping Minister Thodoris Dritsas underlined Greece’s enormous potential in cruise travel and the need to work on a united front, and added that the committee will pave the way for “dynamic synergies for the improvement and development of international, European and national cruise travel”.
According to ELIME data, the number of cruise ships calling on Greek ports grew by 12 percent in 2015 against 2014 to 4,281, while Bank of Greece findings reveal a 9.9 percent rise in the number of cruise passengers visiting Greece and a 10.2 percent increase in revenue.