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At the 28th annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference in Miami Beach, Florida, top executives from major cruise brands gathered to address cruise delegates, tourist boards, industry suppliers, and members of the media for the annual State of the Industry address. The annual address speaks about industry issues, trends, new builds, and, this year, safety was a key point.
Daniel Reed, director of Cruise Shipping Miami, kicked off the event with opening comments and thoughts and prayers with the families affected by the Costa Concordia tragedy. Christine Duffy, president of CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) said, “Looking ahead we see a bright future for the industry with growth, globalization, and innovation.” In 2010, $38 billion dollars in economic benefits came from the cruise industry alone, keeping 330,000 Americans employed.
CEO and presidents of Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line were on a panel moderated Duffy. During the panel, safety, environmental issues, social responsibility, and post-Costa Concordia impact were discussed. Carnival Cruise Lines’ CEO, Gerry Cahill, praised the relationships with travel agents while CEO Kevin Sheehan of Norwegian Cruise Line spoke highly of the line’s maritime experience.
The panel ended with questions submitted by media. The overall vibe of the panel was positive and promising for the outlook of the industry.
The highlight was when Stein Kruse, CEO of Holland America Line (who’s Norwegian) took a jab at Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO Kevin Sheehan, asking him “What exactly is cruising like a Norwegian?!”
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