Reflections from Lisbon
In mid-September, our CEO Ian Robertson and myself had the opportunity to attend the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) Port & Destination Summit in Lisbon, Portugal with leading cruise industry executives, followed by several days at the Seatrade Med conference.
The highlight of the CLIA summit was the opportunity to pitch business opportunities to a variety of cruise line executives. We met with executives from companies that have limited or no presence in the Pacific Northwest, including MSC, the fastest growing cruise line in the world. We made some promising connections around homeporting with two smaller luxury cruise brands and garnered further support for our preclearance initiatives at the Ogden Point Cruise Terminal and in Victoria.
During Seatrade we attended a breakout session titled, “Making Cruise Welcome: How to find the balance between the economic impact from cruise tourism and sustainability in destinations,” that featured conversations between cruise lines, ports and destinations, and local authorities and businesses. We heard great examples of collaboration in various Mediterranean ports where a focus on creating sustainability for both locals and visitors, along with the right messaging around cruise, is helping to build stronger communities. This was a great reminder that when we work together collaboratively across all aspects of industry our city and residents and business community all benefit.
On our last day in Lisbon, we took the opportunity to tour the city’s new cruise terminal. In addition to gathering some perspectives on the types of concessions operating on the terminal, we met the port’s solution to seagulls – a Harris’ hawk.