Cruise Industry Shows It Is Open for Business with Destinations and Stakeholders at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show
The cruise industry embarked in San Juan, Puerto Rico last week with a clear message: cruise lines are ready, willing and able to partner with and invest in destinations and stakeholders for long-term mutual success.
That message rang throughout the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show – the largest and only official cruise conference and trade show representing the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America, which took place Oct. 21-25 – through symbols including both the most presidents and above from FCCA Member Lines, which make up more than 95 percent of the global ocean cruising capacity, and the most meetings in the event’s 26-year history, leading to everything from landmark agreements to opportunities for all participants.
“We cannot be more honored by the success of the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show because it truly represents mutual success for stakeholders and cruise lines,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. “This is the event’s, and the FCCA’s, main mission and reason for creation, and it was on display by everything from ‘historic’ agreements for Saint Lucia to every attendee having an opportunity to meet with cruise executives that can benefit their business.”
Nearly 150 high-level cruise executives, including 13 presidents and above, from FCCA Member Lines took part in the Conference’s series of meetings, workshops and networking functions, as well as the Trade Show, which featured a revamped format offering exhibiting opportunities along with a host of private receptions and the most meetings in event history – with 467 pre-scheduled meetings for Trade Show Pavilion holders, including private meetings with presidents and above, as well as the first dedicated session with Shorex executives.
While every Delegate had opportunities to learn from and build business with the influential audience – including one-on-one meetings that were available with cruise executives who decide where ships call, what is sold and used onboard, and how to invest in destination products and developments – landmark agreements took center stage and served as an example of what the executives discussed during their speeches and workshops: cruise lines are looking to partner with and invest in destinations and stakeholders.
During the event, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of Saint Lucia, a signing that Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Honourable Allen Chastanet called “historic” and “a major step towards enhancing Saint Lucia’s tourism product.”
As part of the MOU, the cruise companies and the government of Saint Lucia will establish a long-term concession agreement to formalize the terms and responsibilities for the joint venture to manage and operate the current cruise pier and terminal facilities at the Port of Castries. Additionally, the joint venture will design, finance, construct and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort on the southern part of the island that will be able to accommodate the latest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry.