Cruise ship flow management, berth allocation, and traffic control topped the agenda of talks between Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias and his counterpart at the shipping ministry, Yiannis Plakiotakis, this week.
The two ministers explored ways to efficiently manage the flow of cruise ships to the islands and some mainland destinations so that passengers and ships are equally distributed.
“We are working with the shipping ministry on a plan for berth allocation and cruise management, adding quality features in collaboration with agencies and professionals in the field so that we can increase the number of cruise destinations and bring more revenue to the country,” said Kikilias.
The minister went on to add that the government’s tourism strategy was aimed at reducing the sector’s environmental footprint and accelerating the transition to sustainable practices.
“Starting this year from Santorini, we want to manage cruise ship traffic in order to offer better services to passengers and visitors but also to secure the quality of life for the inhabitants of the islands,” he said.
Commenting after the meeting, Plakiotakis said Greece was the first country to implement such a mechanism, “which is expected to be a particularly useful tool in the service of ships and visitors, but also to strengthen local economies, contributing to better cruise ship supply planning and to the overall tourist system at each destination”.
Plakiotakis went on to note that the shipping ministry was working to “holistically” manage destinations through the use of new technologies but also with investments in port infrastructure, which will not only enhance the quality of the Greek tourist product, but also of cruise travel for both visitors and companies.
The shipping minister said he was confident that cruise activity will increase significantly in 2022, supporting local communities and increase tourism flows to Greece.
Greece has agreed with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – Europe to kickstart cruise travel in March.