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ESPO starts work on ‘six pack’ of good practices for European Cruise ports

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ESPO Chairman, Santiago Garcia-Milà

ESPO Chairman, Santiago Garcia-Milà

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO)  has identified a set of key challenges for  European Cruise ports  that it will seek to develop into a set of good practices for the sector.

The key challenges identified by the cruise port authorities are: competition and cooperation between cruise ports, relations with the city of arrival and the local authorities, infrastructure in and around the port, relations with the cruise lines, freight versus cruise relationship  within the port and finally security, customs and border control issues.

Those challenges were identified following the launch of ESPO’s Passenger Port Review Survey[i], which canvassed the opinions of cruise ports across Europe.

For each of the six identified challenges, the ESPO Cruise and Ferry Port Network ESPO will develop a set of good practices.   The development of this ‘six pack’ of good practices will be the main priority of the recently created ESPO Cruise and Ferry Port Network[ii].

ESPO Chairman, Santiago Garcia-Milà outlined the six key challenges during the opening session of the first Pan European Dialogue on Cruise which is taking place on 5 and 6 March in Brussels.  This Commission initiative had been announced by the Commission in its Communication “A European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism”.

“The cruise business issues should not be dealt with in an isolated way, ” said ESPO Chairman Santiago Garcia-Milà. “The cruise business in our ports should be on our radar in every policy discussion we have: environment, governance, safety, security and the internal market. “We should assess the effect of EU policy initiatives not only in the light of freight but also on their effects on cruise and ferry business.”

“It is clear that the ESPO’s Cruise and Passenger Port network has an ambitious agenda for the coming year, ” said Santiago Garcia-Milà. “But it is an agenda that perfectly fits in the priorities of the Commission. To develop this ‘six-pack of good practices for Cruise and Ferry ports’, port authorities in EU will sit together in working groups. But we will also open the  dialogue with all other stakeholders. We will need the support and  input of everyone active in the sector.”

[i] A similar survey has been running for European Ferry Ports; also for Ferry Ports six challenges have also been identified.

[ii] The ESPO Cruise and Ferry Port Network was launched in September 2014 in Barcelona. It aims at bringing together all European Cruise Ports Organisations under the ESPO umbrella in view of strengthening the voice of the European Cruise Port authorities towards the EU policy makers and institutions. The following Cruise Ports’ organisations joined the Network: Cruise Baltic, Cruise Britain, Cruise Europe,  Cruise Norway and Med Cruise.

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