2nd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum. The challenge for Greece, the Eastern Med and the Black Sea

Date: 28-29.05.2013

Megaron Athens International Conference Centre, Athens - Greece

Website: www.posidoniaseatourism.com






With more than 650 participants and 32 exhibitors from 25 countries participating in a two-day industry focused dialogue, the 2nd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum was a great success and the 3rd edition of the event is already scheduled for May 2015.






East Med Cruise & Yachting Sectors at Critical Juncture for future economic development

Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum Unveils Programme and spectacular Speaker Line Up

The developmental prospects of the cruising and yachting sectors in the wider East Mediterranean and Black Sea regions in relation to the changing geopolitical and economic landscape of the sub-region's source and destination markets will be tabled at the 2nd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum taking place in Athens in May.

Senior international policy and decision makers from the world's top cruise lines and yachting service providers will join regulators, maritime government officials and local authorities of port destinations in a unique lineup of sea tourism industry experts to debate the crucial issues that determine their growth trends and future sustainability.

Confirmed top speakers and panelists of the Forum include amongst others:
John Fox, Vice President, Government Relations, U.S. and Europe, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Giora Israel, Senior Vice President Port and Destination Development, Carnival Corporation
Richard Vogel, Chief Executive Officer, TUI Cruises
John Tercek, Vice President Commercial & New Business Development, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Kyriakos Anastassiadis, Chief Executive Officer, LOUIS Cruises
Diane Moore, President, Paul Gauguin Cruises
Robert Ashdown, Secretary General, CLIA Europe
Neil Palomba, Chairman of the CLIA Europe Ports & Infrastructure Sub-Committee and Corporate Operating Officer, MSC Cruises
Stavros Hatzakos, President, Medcruise
Toby Maclaurin, President, Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA)
Hein Velema, Chief Executive Officer, Fraser Yachts Worldwide
Matthew Bate, Chief Executive Officer, D-Marin Marinas Group
James Beaver, Operations Director, Camper & Nicholsons Marinas Limited
Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Konstantinos Moussouroulis, Minister of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean

"The importance attached to our Forum by the industry's most influential players is indicative of the critical juncture we find ourselves today as the East Med was just beginning to take off and expectations were bullish until it was hit by the financial crisis and the Arab Spring uprising," said Theodore Vokos, Project Director, Posidonia Exhibitions SA, the organisers of the event.

"Cruise Lines are currently increasing supply to the Far East, at the expense of our region's prospects as they are delaying deployment of further capacity in our region, and Greece and the East Med region need to compensate by accelerating the development of the emerging backyard markets, so as to re-attract attention and stimulate growth," said Vokos.
The conference will commence with a session looking at growth challenges for the region with a focus on the role of governments, legislation and environmental considerations in relation to long-term corporate strategies.

During the first day, delegates will also discuss the importance of port investment to the growth of the cruise industry and take a detailed look at how Italy, Turkey and the Black Sea have attracted such investments at the expense of Greece which has yet failed to fully capitalise on its potential. However, Greece's expected port privatization, currently in the planning stages, is expected to attract increased investment interest from both international port managers and cruise lines, who will attend the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum and who in turn will be able to present possible investment plans and table the cruise industry's needs so as to improve port infrastructure in Greece.

The conference will also include a dedicated sales development session, of upmost importance for the region's future sea tourism growth. Topics to be discussed are the region's new emerging source markets of Russia, Ukraine and Turkey and how this potential can be tapped. The Cruise Day’s final session will address the key parameters of port, destination and shore excursion selection for cruise success.

The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum has also attracted the interest of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which will host the event's parallel session on Day 2 "Black Sea Discovery: Exciting Cruise Destinations on the Black Sea" that will include discussions about the Black Sea destinations of Sochi, Trabzon and Constanta and their role towards the growth of sea tourism in the region.

The international appeal of the event is also reflected by its rapidly increasing list of exhibitors, which includes destinations from the East Med and Black and Red Sea regions. So far confirmed sponsors include Louis Cruises, RINA and the Dubai Maritime City Authority, which has picked this event to promote the new services and facilities Dubai provides the sea tourism industry.
The focus of the second day will be the yachting and passenger shipping sectors; the opening session will discuss the status of cabotage in the Greek commercial yachting sector and examine the Greek government's willingness and readiness to follow a more liberalized framework.

With more than 15 marinas in Greece earmarked for privatisation, it is expected that international marina managers, including Camper & Nicholsons Marinas and D-Marinas Group who have recently invested in Greek Marinas, will present their future strategy for the region.
"Another dedicated session will look at Greece's policies on marina privatisation in relation to the strong interest expressed by Turkish and other international marina developers and operators and the receptiveness of the Greek government to benefit from the know-how and advanced expertise of international private investors," said Vokos.

The 2nd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is organised under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the Greek Ministry of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean, CLIA - Europe, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), the Association of Passenger Shipping Companies, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports (MEDCRUISE), the Hellenic Ports' Association (ELIME), the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners' Association, the Greek Marinas' Association, the Union of Greek Cruise Ship Owners & Associated Members, the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA) and the Hellenic Yacht Brokers' Association.


The 2013 Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum will provide a unique platform to evaluate new investment opportunities and meet the leaders of this industry, as the East Mediterranean and the Black Sea will feature strongly in the future growth of Sea Tourism.

New challenges emerge for all pillars of the Sea Tourism sector, challenges that can be seen as opportunities to develop business. Those challenges and opportunities are going to be addressed during the 2nd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum’s three sessions for yachting, cruise and passenger shipping.




Sea tourism growth: potential major asset for Greek economy say sector experts

2nd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum attracts strong international interest

The Greek cruising and yachting sectors have the combined potential to create more than 40,000 new jobs, according to a recent study undertaken by the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping. The full roll out of the home-porting policy for cruise lines alone can add to the Greek economy annual revenues in excess of Euro 1 billion.


On a European level this is well illustrated in the words of MSC Cruises’ CEO Pierfrancesco Vago, Vice-Chairman of the European Cruise Council and speaker at the 1st Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, “We keep repeating the impressive numbers of the economic impact in 2011 alone: €36.7 billion worth of goods and services generated; over 6 million passengers; €3.5 billion spent by passengers and crew during visits to the 250 port cities that welcome cruise ships year-round. And last, but certainly not least, more than 315,000 jobs created across Europe: which, considering the eye-watering levels of unemployment in other sectors, is quite a remarkable result.”     


The special interest for cruising and its growth potential in our region is further evidenced by the arrival of new brands in the region, including FTI Cruises in 2012, Disney Cruises and Paul Gauguin Cruises in 2013 as well as the new ships coming online this year for operation in the Mediterranean.     


“Greece’s unique 16,000 km coastline, the country’s 1,200 islands and 4,800 islets as well as the mild climate are nature’s gifts to Greece, yet the vast potential of these treasures and their contribution to the national economy remains largely untapped due to the absence of a strategic framework to attract investments conducive to the development of a quality and holistic sea tourism product. But this seems to be changing now,” said Theodore Vokos, Project Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A., the event’s organisers.


The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, which will be held in Athens on May 28-29, has already attracted strong interest from major international cruise and yachting companies. They will vie for the attention of the industry’s regional decision makers who will converge to the Greek capital for two days of discussions and debates on the sector’s growth challenge for Greece, Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea.


Major cruise lines Royal Caribbean, Carnival, MSC, Silversea, Costa Crociere, Celebrity Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises and Louis Cruises have already committed their presence at the event which additionally has the support of CLIA - Europe and MedCruise.

A new feature of this year’s Forum will be an Exhibition designed to enable industry suppliers to showcase their services and products. Exhibitors include ports, destinations, hotels, airlines, tourist service providers, technical support companies, sector publishers, new technologies, yacht managers and brokers, yacht interiors specialists and marinas.


Senior industry officials agree that initiatives such as the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum can help attract attention to the region’s sea tourism industry and that the arrival of major international and regional marina developers and operators Camper & Nicholsons Marinas and D-Marine Investments Holding with investments in Greek marinas are indications of a more robust future.


According to George Gratsos, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, “Yachting already creates 40,000 direct and indirect jobs for the Greek economy. A friendlier business environment and the development of new marinas with a capacity for 10,000 more yachts than hosted at present would create an additional 30,000 jobs. “


“The recent spate of foreign direct investment in Greek marinas can be the catalyst for more transactional activity in the near future which can resuscitate the Greek yachting sector, thereby reviving a dormant market full of potential and promise,” said Theodore Vokos, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A.


The organisers of the event are upbeat about its contribution to the sectors’ long-term prospects: “As a result of the lively debate that took place in the first Forum, a number of high profile policy changes were announced by the Greek Government including the new legal framework for cruise vessel home porting with the lifting of cabotage restrictions and investment incentives which helped funnel foreign funds into Greek yachting infrastructure projects,” said Vokos.


Of vital importance for Greece to be successful in its quest to further develop all forms of sea tourism is the parallel development of the sector in Turkey, the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean in general. It is the greater region’s importance for the global tourism industry that will ensure long term and sustainable growth in the future. Strong international interest has already been expressed both for the conference and the exhibition.       


The 2nd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum is organised under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the Greek Ministry of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean, CLIA – Europe, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), the Association of Passenger Shipping Companies, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports (MEDCRUISE), the Hellenic Ports’ Association (ELIME), the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners’ Association, the Greek Marinas’ Association, the Union of Greek Cruise Ship Owners & Associated Members, the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA) and the Hellenic Yacht Brokers’ Association.



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