PSG CEO Alexander Gumbs (second from right) at Seatrade Cruise Global.
PHILIPSBURG–Ninety per cent of the industry’s cruise capacity will have returned to service by the end of next month, representing 270 ships and 550,000 lower berths, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The cruise industry expects to exceed its pre-COVID passenger levels by next year. “A new dynamic has been established between the cruise industry and destinations as we continue to transition out of the pandemic, setting the stage for future success,” said Port St. Maarten Group (PSG) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alexander Gumbs. “We are all looking forward to a sustainable transition and things are looking positive for our 2022-2023 high cruise season.”
St. Maarten was one of 110 countries represented at the Seatrade Cruise Global 2022 conference held in Miami, Florida, April 25-28. This year 9,350 cruise line executives, political decision-makers, port directors and commissioners, as well as suppliers, came together at Miami Beach Convention Center for four days of networking at the biggest global cruise industry gathering since 2019.
Gumbs took part in a panel discussion “Adapt and Thrive Through Public-Private Innovation”, along with several other panellists, including MSC Cruises executive Rick Sasso.
Gumbs also held several strategic stakeholder meetings with representatives of Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and various cruise corporations.
“There are a lot of changes within the industry leaders’ grid,” said Gumbs, who congratulated Michele Paige on being appointed FCCA’s CEO and new President Adam Ceserano. “Our relationship with FCCA is at an all-time high and we look forward to collaborating on further initiatives in the interest of the Port St. Maarten Group.”
The four-day conference explored the latest trends with industry influencers and high-level cruise executives. The three-day exhibition is the largest gathering of the cruise industry, hosting more than 700 exhibiting companies from all sectors, including design and ship interiors; entertainment, environmental and health; hotel operations and concessions; information technology; ports and destinations; safety and security; ship equipment; and shipbuilding.
The discussions at the conference focused on the cruise industry and destinations banding together to survive the COVID-19 pandemic along with the “State of the Global Cruise Industry”.
Confidence in the cruise industry is being restored with countries and governments at higher rates than 2019 levels. Based on recent statistical data and outlook, 69 per cent of persons who never cruised have started cruising, while 87 per cent of millennials are willing to go on a cruise. Global cruising levels are expected to return to 2019 levels in 2023.
There were a number of workshops and sessions focused on how the cruise industry is adapting to climate change, where sustainability is the buzz word with major progress being made in lowering its environmental carbon footprint in transitioning to a carbon-free future.
Seatrade Cruise Global is considered the leading annual business-to-business (B2B) event for the global cruise industry. Seatrade Cruise Global is part of the Seatrade portfolio, an integral portfolio within Informa Markets, providing a range of global exhibitions, conferences, events, awards, news websites and publications that cover every aspect of the cruise and maritime industries. Seatrade is owned by Informa PLC, the largest B2B event organiser in the world.