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Cruise Industry Pledges to Take Action for Sustainable Blue Economy

Photo source: @CLIAEurope

Cruise industry leaders and government officials pledged this week during the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) European Summit 2022 to work together towards ensuring a sustainable blue economy through the implementation of greener infrastructure and the provision of adequate incentives to drive innovation and sustainable maritime solutions.

Cruise industry stakeholders including shipyards, manufacturers, port operators and fuel producers met in Genoa this week where they discussed the implementation of the industry’s climate goals, the latest innovations and investments, and the need for government investment.

What Greece is doing

Attending the event, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said the country was tapping into RRF funds to enhance infrastructure connected to cruise travel, particularly in view of this year’s increasing number of ship arrivals.

Kikilias also said that the Greek culture ministry was simplifying procedures in order to facilitate visiting procedures at archaeological sites and key attractions for cruise passengers.

“Since last autumn we have joined forces and are working closely together in order to support cruise travel in the area and the results so far are very positive,” said Kikilias, added that the cruise insdustr was contributing to the extension of the tourism season, creating new jobs, and boosting national and local economies.

“We aim to continue our fruitful collaboration with CLIA and local authorities in order to further develop a sustainable tourism product,” he said.

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias

The Genoa summit, the industry’s first European event devoted to the decarbonization, called on governments to join in the effort by formulating regulatory frameworks and approving investments that meet environmental goals. Actions proposed include the development and delivery of sustainable maritime fuels, technologies necessary to achieve net-zero carbon cruising by 2050, new vessels and adequate infrastructure.

A key priority for cruise companies is innovation and research in this direction. 

“It is essential that we now need a clear legislative framework to encourage the investment and innovation that will be required for the industry to achieve the 2030 EU Fit for 55 objectives and ultimately our 2050 ambitions,” said Marie-Caroline Laurent, CLIA director general Europe.

Laurent added that the sector has a vision to become the most sustainable form of tourism, reducing emissions at sea and in ports, fully implementing the concept of circularity for waste.

Among others industry stakeholders noted that port infrastructure was a very important area where public finance investment was essential. Cruise lines have committed to use shoreside electricity (SSE) where offered by ports and 66 percent of the global fleet will be equipped to connect to SSE by 2027. Only a handful of cruise berths provide SSE in European ports, while the European Union goal is for all main ports in the continent to be equipped by 2030.

It should be noted that 93 percent of cruise vessels built in Europe, in the next five years represent more than 40 billion euros in investment in European shipyards with 78 vessels on order.   

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