#cruiseliners - A Cruise Europe summit hosted by Dublin Port Company to discuss Brexit by members of the cruise association that promotes destinations in Northern and Atlantic Europe was recently held in the Irish capital.
Attending the summit was Simon Coveney, An Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, who opened proceedings by updating members on the uncertainty that continues to prevail over Brexit. The Minister went on to state that this is not just a British issue but will have an effect on many other EU states.
This uncertainty is proving to be challenging for governments and business alike. The Minister acknowledged the economic benefit of the tourism and maritime sectors and reiterated the government commitment to supporting these industries and the development of cruise tourism going forward.
According to Cruise Europe, panellists agreed that the uncertainty that remains is bad for business. All organisations are spending time and resources on contingency planning rather than developing growth strategies. While current cruise bookings remain buoyant and there are no immediate plans to change itineraries, the main concern is the stability of sterling and the potential economic impact thereof.
The movement of passengers and stores remains under review. However, cruise companies do not anticipate that there will be a significant impact at this time. Cruise operators did request that ports relay any information in relation to local customs and immigration decisions that may be useful in the planning process.
Panellists attending the summit at the Gibson Hotel, Dublin, included executives from Carnival UK, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Cruise & Maritime Voyages as well as representatives from Irish state agencies, port authorities, shipping agents and shore excursion providers.
Next month, Afloat adds will be Cruise Europe's annual Cruise Conference which is to be held in Zeebrugge, Belgium between 4-7 March.