The meeting started with warm greetings from the WG coordinators, Mrs. Noemi Frascella, from the Port of Taranto and MedCruise, and Mr. José Sanchez, representing the AIVP. Following the introductions, the session proceeded with valuable insights and presentations from various speakers as follows.

Ms. Francesca Antonelli Ibáñez, Marketing & Cruises Manager – Commercial & Business Development at the Port Authority of Valencia and Senior Vice President of MedCruise, shared a best practice project focusing on the decentralization of cruise visitors to destinations in the Valencian region. This initiative aims to enhance the region’s tourism potential while ensuring sustainable growth and development.

Ms. Tiziana Murgia, Head of Communication and Promotion at Assoporti, then discussed the commitment of Italian ports in developing cruising and port-city relations. Drawing on past experiences, the presentation shed light on the future perspectives and initiatives undertaken by Italian ports. The aim is to strengthen their engagement with cruise activities and foster positive interactions between the port and the local community.

Another external speaker, Mr. Anthony La Salandra, Managing Director of Risposte Turismo, emphasized the significance of establishing dialogue with all stakeholders in port cities. The focus was on striking a balance between the growth of tourist activities and addressing the needs and concerns of the local citizens. The presentation provided valuable insights into managing the relationship between tourism development and the well-being of the community.

Finally, Mr. Thanos Pallis, Professor of Port & Maritime Economics and Policy in the University of Piraeus, highlighted the need to develop thorough researches on the real impact of cruises in destinations to increase the transparency of the sector and establish fruitful dialogues with all stakeholders.

Following these enlightening presentations, participants engaged in an interactive Q&A session. This offered an opportunity for members to seek clarification, share perspectives, and actively contribute to the discussions, fostering a collaborative environment. The meeting concluded with an internal discussion among the participants regarding future steps and strategies to further enhance the relationship between port cities and cruises.