The cruise tourism sector will grow between four and five percent in 2014, especially in the Caribbean, an increase that reflects the efforts to ensure harmonization, communication and coordination among the lines, destinations, private companies and local governments, according to attendees at Cruise Shipping Miami.
The 30th edition of the fair kicked off here Monday amid clear optimism about the present and future of the industry, despite the accidents that have occurred in recent years, including the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia and the fire aboard the Carnival Triumph, as well as outbreaks of viruses on other vessels.
"The health of the sector continues to be very good. The industry is fine and continues to be committed to global growth, building new ships," Michael Ronan, vice president for Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia for Royal Caribbean, the world's second largest cruise company, told Efe.
The four-day fair got under way with a discussion on the theme "How Can Destinations and Ports Maximize the Benefit of Cruise Tourism?" at which Ronan emphasized the increase in tourism that the Caribbean will experience this year "in good part as a result of a decrease in demand for Europe and the Mediterranean."
Mark Mingo, CEO of the St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies, agreed with Ronan that harmonization is a key factor in the maximization of profits.
Among the hundreds of exhibitors from all over the world taking part in the fair are representatives of 24 Spanish port authorities, as well as 70 companies from the port community, chambers of commerce, city halls and port city tourism boards in Spain
The Spanish pavilion at the fair operates under the slogan "Blue Carpet" and covers 600 square meters (about 6,450 square feet).
In 2013, Spanish ports welcomed 7.6 million visitors and 3,486 cruise ships. The sector has grown by 275 percent in the past decade. EFE