The lineup for this year’s Mediterranean Cruise Industry Keynote panel sponsored by Cruise Saudi was revealed earlier this month. Taking place on September 14, it includes MedCruise President Figen Ayan, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe Director General Marie-Caroline Laurent, MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato, Celestyal Cruises CEO Chris Theophilides and Costa Cruises President Mario Zanetti. It will be preceded by a special address from CLIA led by Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, cruise division, MSC Group and global chairman, CLIA.
The lineup for the two-day event so far can be viewed here.
On September 14, Ioannis Pappas, director, Mediterranean region, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) will join ‘Destination Stewardship: The Integrity of the Local Community’ in the Auditorium to evaluate how destinations and cruise lines can motivate and involve their passengers in actions towards more sustainable tourism practices, while addressing commitments to destinations visited and their local communities.
In the Auditorium a day later, Marcus Puttich, senior head of port management & operations, TUI Cruises and Tim Littley, senior director, deployment & itinerary planning, Seabourn Cruise Line participate in ‘The Intricacies of Sustainable Itinerary Planning,’ focussing on how itinerary planners are preparing for shore power and other sustainable options, their influence on less sustainable ports/ destinations and how sustainability may impact itineraries.
Marketing and technology
Leah Chandler, CMO Puerto Rico destination marketing, Discover Puerto Rico appears on ‘The Great Comeback: Marketing Strategies Behind Reviving Destination Tourism’ panel on September 14 at the Showcase Deck on the Show Floor, which will share destinations’ strategies to capitalize on their offerings amid the pandemic and challenging geopolitical events.
Also taking place at the Showcase Deck on day one, ‘Using Smart Technology to Our Advantage: Increasing Efficiency and Tackling Overcrowding’ will see Odette McFarlane director, home port operations, Carnival UK involved in discussion alongside Lofti Trabelsi, director, port services EMEA, Royal Caribbean International on ways digitalisation can be harnessed to to help address overcrowding in destinations.
With technology substituting staff – for check-in and organising tours, for example – Paul Rutterford, operations director, Viking Crew will seek to forecast what the future may look like for tour operators and shoreside experiences, and whether technology poses a viable alternative, in the ‘Human vs Machine: the Impact of Technology on Shoreside Experiences’ conference session on September 15.
Luxury cruising and younger travellers
Mark Robinson, VP cruise operations, Scenic Group and Michael Ungerer, CEO, Explora Journeys deliver their insights in the ‘Redefining Luxury Cruising’ panel held in the auditorium on September 14, which will review the evolution of destination immersion as a luxury signifier. Other criteria defining luxury cruising – both from an onboard perspective and shoreside experience – will additionally go under the microscope.
Ideas on ‘Attracting Millennials to Cruise: The Next Generation’ will come from Filippos Venetopoulos, CEO, Variety Cruises and Tarvo Topolev, CEO and co-founder of RebelRoam as part of the conference programme on September 14. They will help to explore ways experiences can be tailored towards millennials, the type of experiences younger people are looking for and how cruise lines and destinations may cater to this shift, from shoreside to onboard the ship.
Med under the spotlight
Aleksander Bienek, VP marine operations, Star Clippers joins ‘The Changing Geography of the Med: Adapting and Improvising’ panel on September 15 in the Auditorium. The panel will look at making use of emerging and/or less frequented destinations in itinerary planning, as well as the development of new experiences across the Med and its adjoining seas. It will also look at changes in deployment due the current geopolitical climate and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Health and safety
Also in the Auditorium on September 15, Dennis Tetzlaff, VP, fleet operations & newbuild, TUI Cruises will discuss mitigating passengers’ fear of travelling in current times, as part of the ‘Health & Safety: Change and Collaboration’ panel. With the industry returning to full swing, he will weigh up how cruise lines and ports can work together more efficiently to contribute to seamless passenger experiences – plus review any challenges health and safety regulations pose to itinerary planning.
More information on the speaker lineup for ‘Are you Fit for 55?’ and ‘Beyond the Poles: Expedition Workshop’ are coming soon.
To learn more about Seatrade Cruise Med 2022 and for the latest event details, visit www.seatradecruiseevents.com/med.