During her speech at Cruise360, President and CEO Kelly Craighead highlighted the important role they played in helping the industry get back into business.
The International Cruise Lines Association, the leading voice for the global cruise industry, today opened its annual North America Cruise360 Conference at the Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida. The event took place 501 days after the voluntary suspension of global cruise industry operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and marked the first official in-person cruise industry event in North America since 2019.
CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead delivered welcoming remarks to conference attendees, highlighting the important role travel consultants played in helping the cruise industry resume operations in the United States and calling on the community to remain actively engaged in addressing misperceptions and promoting proactive steps that Cruise lines are taking to protect public health as shipping resumes.
“With industry-leading protocols guiding the resumption of operations in Europe and Asia, and with the increasing availability of vaccines, it was you and your voices who successfully championed the resumption of cruises in the United States,” said Craighead. , referring to CLIA’s ‘Ready, Set, Sail’ initiative that involved the broader cruise community, many of whom are travel advisors, to request Congress and the White House to issue the necessary instructions to comply with the Conditional navigation order that is effective until November 1. .
Noting that CLIA met its stated goal of working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support the responsible resumption of cruise ship operations in the United States by July, Craighead acknowledged that Obstacles persist and he asked travel consultants to continue to use their voices as advocates for the industry.
“The reputation of the industry has been challenged like never before. We must do a better job of correcting the record and telling the positive story of the cruise, including our investments in environmental sustainability, which totaled $ 23.5 billion last year, ”Craighead said. “We have seen the power of our collective voice. Let’s build on this momentum, using facts to dispel myths and helping others better understand the positive contributions of the cruise industry around the world. ”
Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises and Global President of CLIA, joined Craighead for virtual commentary at the Cruise360 opening session.
“I have been very impressed by the way we have all worked more closely during this crisis: cruise lines, city mayors, port authorities, cruise terminal operators, ship agents and tourism authorities, as well as many of you here. today, “Vago said. . “When we come together and use the collective strength of our voices, we can create positive change.”
The nearly 45,000 travel agents and agents that are part of the CLIA Travel Trade membership in North America represent the largest network of travel consultants specializing in cruise travel. The annual North America Cruise360 conference offers members of the CLIA travel trade in the US and Canada the opportunity to participate in training and networking events to help advisors grow their businesses and stay informed with information and the latest critical trends affecting the cruise industry.