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Huelva Cruise Forum: The first meeting on the cruise industry held in the capital of Huelva

Huelva Cruise Forum: The first meeting on the cruise industry held in the capital of Huelva - Κεντρική Εικόνα


More than a hundred participants have attended the first meeting on the cruise industry called Huelva Cruise Forum, which was held on January 29th, 2014, in the capital of Huelva and was organized by the Port of Huelva and the Provincial Board of Tourism Council, in order to make the city and the province a cruise tourism destination.

The president of the Port Authority of Huelva, Manuela Paz, has highlighted the potential of the Port of Cristobal Colon as scale cruise has two docks for the arrival of these ships, such as the South Pier, further from the city ​​but easier docking and dock lift, located five minutes from the center of the capital.

For his part, the president of the council and the Tourist Board, Ignacio Caraballo, said that “cruise traffic in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic can be a business opportunity for the province of Huelva we can not pass up. From the Tourist Board we have set the goal of making this province, which has all the ingredients to be an attractive cruise destination, the best choice for tourists in this segment and for shipping.”

Also, Ignacio Caraballo added that “for these reasons it is important to coordinate all of us, including the capital. Only 5 percent of passengers on a cruise stays on the ship, the rest disembark for sightseeing and hiking in the province. We must all work side by side, to differentiate our offer with other traditional destinations and cruises to attract Huelva”.

This meeting has been organized for the purpose of publicizing all business opportunities that cruise traffic could mean for Huelva and its province. Discussion topics have dealt with how to prepare the port, auxiliary industries, the destination itself and tourism services in order to satisfy the new cruiser.

The president of the Port Authority of Huelva has highlighted the joint work that the Port and the Board are developing to get attract more cruise every year with the ultimate goal of actually receiving 20 cruise calls in 2020.

This meeting was attended by experts in the cruise industry, shipping executives, agents and tour operators in Spain, that have addressed various issues such as the status of the cruise industry, the integration of the cruise business in towns and Mediterranean ports / Atlantic – city Puerto relationship and the role of ground operator.

So, Alfredo Serrano, director Spain Cruise Line International Association (CLIA ), an umbrella organization working with shipping cruises, highlighted the significant economic impact the industry has on employment and wealth creation in the service sector. He also noted that Europe and the Mediterranean are the second largest after the cruise tourism destination Caribbean and pointed to the new trends in this industry revolve around the unknown.

For its part, the consultant Luis de Carvalho, Bermello Ajamil & Partners Europe, working in Denmark with cruise companies, has stressed the importance of setting a port – city long-term strategy and to establish a challenge to position in the cruise industry where the demand from travelers to visit destinations is essential, in addition to the costs and benefits of shipping, the level of satisfaction and fit cruise destination in an itinerary of the cruise companies scales.

The cruise industry expert Sebastian Camps has alluded to the need to provide quality service to tourists in every way, both on the ship and excursions and city tours.

Other speakers agreed on the fact work together from the Port, administrations and companies to cruise passengers are satisfied and repeat his visit to the destination by boat or by other transportation.

Thus, Anne Sommerfeld, vice president of the company Iberoservice Cruise Division, focused on serving the needs of tourists ashore, said that the organization of hiking and requires great effort and dedication to offer thematic quality, accessible visits safe and adapted to the demands of each customer profile. Meanwhile, Serafin Blazquez, Mediterranean Intercruises Shore Side & Port Services, discussed the vision of the ground operator and agents, so as to observe the conditions (moorings, tides, costs, fees ..) each port offers to ships.

The meeting also featured a presentation on the profile of workers cruise and how to access this type of work, with a speech by Jorge Florez, director of Seven Seas Group.

The day ended with a panel discussion on how to prepare for the arrival of cruises which involved representatives from prestigious companies such as MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services. During the panel discussion has highlighted the importance of creating a destination brand to promote cruise Huelva as scale linked to the discovery of America , the Park of Doñana or all of its resources in general by the name Huelva. Also alluded to a regional brand that encompasses different Andalusian ports. It also stressed the loyalty of cruise passengers to the destination , as often repeat visits , as well as the fact that between 65 and 75 % of cruise passengers visiting the cities to which the ship reaches 20% Contractual excursions. Regarding the average expenditure of cruise passengers in the destination city usually amount to an average of between 40 and 60 euros per person.

Huelva Cruise Forum, organized by a recognized industry consultant, Cruises News Media Group, has been aimed at professionals in the port sector, the auxiliary industry, travel agencies related to tourism promotion institutions and managers of hotel services, restaurants, museums, shops and services in general can benefit from the arrival of cruise passengers to Huelva.

The meeting has attracted considerable interest from companies active in the province as well as other tourist transport , travel agencies , hotels, companies that organize trips and excursions for cruisers and technicians municipalities, communities and representatives of other port authorities of Andalusia.

The Port Authority of Huelva has created an Observatory Cruise where the Provincial Tourism are represented, the Tourist Office of Huelva, the Tourism Business Council of the Federation of Employers Onubense and tour operators, in order to coordinate actions aimed towards the promotion of Huelva as cruise tourism destination to spread the tourist attractions of the city and the province related to the English heritage linked to the exploitation of the mines, the discovery of America, beaches, nature and gastronomy, among other resources.

The Port of Huelva has received several cruises in recent years, which have arrived at the South Dock, with 750 meters of berthing and 280,000 square feet available on the first, second and third line. Similarly, the Huelva basin has the dock lift, next to the city center, to receive cruise ships.