Europe Cruise Sector Sets Sights on Asia
Europe’s cruise sector is actively reaching out to Asian markets in efforts to maintain its strong hold on the market as the world’s second top cruise destination.
MedCruise, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) are aiming to benefit from the growing demand by bringing in Chinese cruise travelers to Europe.
Speaking to the media recently, Thanos Pallis, secretary general for MedCruise, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports, said the association had already contacted Emirates airlines in order to draw up a marketing campaign that will promote European cruise travel to Asian markets. At the same time, OLP management Cosco has been in talks with a Chinese airline in order to secure direct flights from China to Greece and immediate embarkation for Chinese passengers.
Sector professionals are saying the results of their efforts will begin to show after 2018. The issue, meanwhile, of preparing the cruise ships operating the Mediterranean to be able to cater to Chinese travelers will be discussed at Sea Trade Cruise Global, to be held in Miami on March 13-16.
Cruise giants such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruises have already prepared their vessels to meet the needs of the Chinese market with other major groups, such as MSC and Norwegian, doing the same.
There are currently 136 cruise ships under 46 companies operating in the Mediterranean.