CLIA unveils further plans for 2024
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has today (December 19) made a raft of additional announcements for 2024 at its annual CLIA Cruise Forum.
The event saw Andy Harmer, Managing Director UK & Ireland, provide updates to over 250 delegates from across the industry. This represented the largest ever number of partners to attend the event.
- The theme of next year’s CLIA Conference will be #DiscoverMore, as it will have a particular focus on the wealth and variety of destinations that are accessible via cruise ship. The conference will take place from May 23-25 in Southampton and is the largest annual travel agent event of its kind in Europe.
- Additional places at the Conference will be made available to CLIA members, which originally sold out in a record-breaking 48 hours, with almost 600 registrations. In addition, CLIA has announced that it has partnered with P&O Cruises, who will now include Britannia as part of the ship visit programme. CLIA will update those agents, currently on a waitlist, who have secured a place in the new year.
- Further places may be made available for CLIA’s RiverView event, which will be held in Amsterdam from March 11-13 next year and has similarly sold out. Details are to be confirmed.
- CLIA will once again support the Compass Project, which aims to create greater social mobility, diversity and inclusivity in the travel and cruise industry. The project is a partnership with Mundy Cruising and St John Bosco College in Battersea, and enables sixth-form students from socially diverse backgrounds to learn more about travel and associated career opportunities.
- Agents are being encouraged to join two monthly trade-friendly webinar sessions next year, both of which were announced recently. ‘Focus on…’ sessions will take place live each month for 30 minutes and highlight opportunities within a different sector of the cruise industry, while ‘CLIA in conversation’ will comprise monthly sessions, also live and for 30 minutes, with in-depth news, analysis and guest speaker insight.
The forum also featured speakers including:
- Ben Bouldin, CLIA Chair UK & Ireland
- Simon Jack, Business Editor for BBC News
- Ryan Uhl, Chief Brand Strategy Officer at Mail Metro Media
- Linden Coppell, Vice President Sustainability & ESG at MSC Cruises
- Danae Sheehan, Voyage Tracker Manager & Editor from Seabourn
- A panel discussion with Eithne Williamson, VP Princess Cruises UK & Europe; Lee Haslett, Global Chief Commercial Officer at Celestyal; Paul Melinis, Managing Director UK & Europe at APT Luxury River Cruises & Tours; and Giles Hawke, VP & MD UK, Ireland and EMEA at Celebrity Cruises
CLIA has previously unveiled events and initiatives including new sections on its website, such as a New-to-Selling Cruise hub, Virtual Ship Tours and a ‘Countdown’ page for upcoming ship launches.
Andy Harmer said: “2023 has been a fantastic year for the cruise industry and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has played their part. You could see from the positivity at the Forum that our members are thriving, and that is a great tribute to the innovation, determination and collaboration we see across the sector.
“We all want this momentum to continue into the new year and beyond, so have made a series of trade-friendly announcements to help start 2024 with a flourish. We can’t wait to see what the new year brings.”