Cruise Industry Leaders to Converge at 7th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum in Thessaloniki
The 7th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum will bring together top executives and industry leaders from the international cruise sector to highlight the importance of the Southeast Mediterranean region and the need for new destinations to keep pace with the industry’s rapid growth and emerging trends.
To be held on April 25-26 in the Makedonia Palace hotel in Thessaloniki, the biennial event comes at a time when the cruise industry is looking to fully recover from the pandemic and chart a path towards a sustainable future.
According to organizer Posidonia Exhibitions S.A., the high-ranking participation of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) at the event is testament to the importance of the region and the need for new destinations and markets to emerge.
“The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is an important event that brings together industry leaders and offers a platform for them to share their insights on the challenges and potential of the industry,” said Posidonia Exhibitions SA Managing Director Theodore Vokos, adding that this year’s event promises to be “one of the most significant events of the year” for the cruise industry.
High-profile line-up of speakers
The 7th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is set to feature a high-profile line-up of speakers that will focus on a number of key issues including destination delivery, the development and upgrade of port and tourism infrastructure to encourage and enable growth, the need to properly assess the economic benefit and environmental impact for a given destination and the capacity for shore-side electric power-connectivity, amongst others.
They will also discuss the challenges of berth reservation and assignment, particularly in marquee ports with limited berthing ability.
The keynote speech will be delivered by Pierfrancesco Vago, CLIA Global Chair and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises.
Confirmed speakers include: Manolis Alevropoulos, Vice President, Celebrity Cruises; Figen Ayan, President of MedCruise; George Koumpenas, President of Hellenic Cruise Ship Owners & Associated Members’ Union; Ukko Metsola, Vice President, Government Relations, EMEA, Royal Caribbean Group; Marie-Caroline Laurent, Director General of CLIA Europe; Athanasios Liagkos, Executive Chairman of the BoD & Managing Director, Thessaloniki Port Authority (ThPA S.A.); Minas Papadakis, Chief Executive Officer, Heraklion Port Authority; Theodora Riga, Chief Commercial Officer & Strategic Communications Director, ThPA SA; Chris Theophilides, CEO, Celestyal Cruises, Constantine Venetopoulos, Director of Communications & PR, Variety Cruises and and Yu Zenggang, Chairman, Piraeus Port Authority SA.
“We are delighted to participate in this year’s Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, particularly as it takes place in our homeport of Thessaloniki, an up-and-coming city that has plenty to offer visitors in the way of history, culture and unrivalled gastronomy,” Theophilides of Celestyal Cruises said.
It is noted that this is the first time the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is being held out of Athens.
“As Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean are our home, we look forward to constructive dialogue between the authorities and cruise companies to ensure sustainable development within the area which will benefit both the national and the local economy,” Theophilides added.
CLIA Europe session to explore ‘pathways’ to achieve net zero
During the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, CLIA Europe will hold a session titled “Pathways to Net Zero” to offer practical examples of implementation and a guide through the maze to net zero. The session will cover topics ranging from decarbonisation, port infrastructure, and safety requirements to the Poseidon principles.
Younger generation engage in the ‘YES to SEApping Forum 2023’
The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum will also host the ‘YES to SEApping Forum 2023’ to reach out to the younger generation in Thessaloniki. The forum aims to inform young people about the evolving Blue Economy by covering both the shipping and sea tourism industries.
Sponsors of the 2023 PSTF include the Thessaloniki Port Authority S.A., the Piraeus Port Authority SA, Celestyal Cruises, Kyvernitis Travel and the Thessaloniki Tourism Organisation. The official airline is SKY express. The forum is organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy and the Ministry of Tourism and supported by the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports (MedCruise) and the Union of Cruise Ship Owners & Associated Members.