Cruise association conference scheduled

The Florida-Caribbean Cruise
Association has announced its annual conference will be in Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic.

It is the 17th gathering of the movers
and shakers of the cruise industry in the region and takes place from 25-29
October, said Michele M. Paige, president of the association.

“The conference is the only event
that brings together over 100 cruise executives to talk to our partners so it’s
a continuation [of industry communication]. The cruise industry is a very
fast-moving industry and what was relevant last year is not necessarily relevant
this year. {The conference is a chance to] sit down with old partners and to be
able to start working with new partners.

“Some of the hot topics we’ll be
talking about include sourcing in the Caribbean, insurance needs, new tours,”
noted Ms. Paige.

Industry trends

At the conference, the cruise
sector will also discuss the current state of the global economy and how the
industry is reacting to or recovering from the downturn of the last two years.

“The cruise industry, as everyone
else, is still in recession but we’ve been able to attract new passengers and
the per diems have risen slightly. The industry continues to grow and has
become a very global industry; the ships are being deployed further and further
away from home,” said Ms Paige.

The cruise professional noted that
competition was global and intense, with tourists having more options for their
vacations than ever before. The onus was therefore on the destination to
continually appraise and revitalise its product if necessary.

“It’s very important for
destinations to be competitive, to understand that you’re not the only game in
town and that the world has become a tourism destination,” added the president
of the trade organisation.