The 9th meeting of the AIVP – MedCruise Joint Working Group on Cruise and Port Cities took place last week, on the 18th of October. The meeting was moderated by Mr. José Sánchez, representing the AIVP, while also counting with the inputs from Mr. Nicky Guerrero, secretary General of MedCruise, on the recent General Assembly of his organization. Following the usual structure of the working group gatherings, there was one presentation from an external guest, Prof. Thanos Pallis, and one focusing on a member, this time the North Tyrrhenian Port Network Authority (PNA), specifically the ports of Piombino and Portoferraio.
Mr. Thanos Pallis, Professor of Port & Maritime Economics and Policy from the University of Piraeus, presented the partial results of a study assessing the economic impact of cruises on two Greek ports. Both the methodology and results of the study fueled an intense debate and highlighted the need to define common practices to facilitate comparison between cases and improve communication.
The case of Piombino and Portoferraio was presented by Mr. Claudio Capuano and Ms. Francesca Morucci (Manager and Head of Promotion Public Relations Office from the North Tyrrhenian PNA, respectively), and Mr. Francesco di Cesare (President of Risposte Turismo). In this case, the port authority had launched a study regarding the state-of-the-art of passengers reception services in the ports of Piombino and Portoferraio, cruise gates to the Southern Tuscany and to Elba Island. Some of the challenges refer to the different scales and needs these ports have, when compared to other ports managed by the same PNA, like Livorno. The PNA identified several goals such as:
- Set up a long-term strategy.
- Investigate and improve welcome passengers services.
- Increase economic and social benefits’ knowledge.
- Boost the port/city/territory integration.
The meeting concluded with an internal discussion regarding future steps of the working group in order to valorize the good practices shared.