Venice, Italy (PortSEurope) October 21, 2019 – The first meeting of the Cruise 2030 Call for Action initiative took place in Venice on October 18 and was attended by delegations from the delegations of seven of the main European cruise ports – Amsterdam, Palma de Mallorca, Bergen, Cannes, Dubrovnik, Malaga, Marseille Fos – and a representative of the International Transport Forum was also present as an auditor.
The initiative was launched by Pino Musolino, President of Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mare Adriatico Settentrionale (AdSP – Northern Adriatic Sea Port Authority) to outline common strategies aimed at increasing compatibility between the cruise sector and European urban and environmental realities.
The delegations recognized the economic and occupational importance of cruise ship but, at the same time, those present agreed on the need to intervene in a coordinated manner to contain or eliminate the external costs associated with this phenomenon. During the meeting, each port was able to underline the different specificities of the respective ports of call and, consequently, the different critical challenges to be faced and resolved.
The next meeting will be held in January 2020 at the port of Palma de Mallorca. Meanwhile the delegations decided to work on an action plan with the aim of reaching the next meeting with a shared document to be approved.
Some of the issues depend first of all on the physical limits that characterize the European ports which, unlike the Caribbean ones for example, are set in an urban framework of ancient plant of great historical and artistic interest and, therefore, of strong appeal for tourism but, at the same time, also characterized by greater fragility. For this reason, those present agreed to deepen the possibility of designing a ship more suited to the characteristics of the port calls managed and the reference cities.
The spaces available to European ports are also more restricted and the risk of congestion due to water traffic and the tourist flow is higher than other ports, located on other continents, where the infrastructures are wider and the access routes they are easier. All this greatly affects the social acceptability of the sector.
Nevertheless, those present highlighted how it is necessary to forcefully highlight the true proportions and the relative impact of a sector that is often subject to mystification. The cruise industry, for example, generates tourist flows that are only a fraction of those that reach the various destinations of interest and bring, however, great wealth to the territory.
Sensitivity to environmental sustainability is another characteristic shared by all the delegations involved. The European ports involved are trying to reduce as much as possible the impact of the cruises while striving, at the same time, to maintain and relaunch a business that has enormous beneficial economic and employment repercussions for the reference territories. Those present confirmed their interest in seeking solutions in new technologies to further reduce the environmental footprint of cruise traffic, not only at the shipping level but also on the armature side, which includes urban transport, shuttles, taxis, etc.
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