MedCruise, partner organization of the AIVP, hosted a very successful 63rd General Assembly between the 10th and 13th of October in Burgas, Bulgaria. Both organizations have developed a strong cooperation over the past years, since the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2021 for the sustainable development of cruise activities in port cities. Last week’s event was a demonstration of this fluid cooperation, as the Director of Agenda 2030 by AIVP, Dr. José M P Sánchez, joined virtually the session entitled “Love thy neighbours: strengthening the cruise destination through port-city relations and the engagement of the local community”. Mr. Sanchez highlighted the activities that the shared Working Group on cruises and port cities has been developing since its launching in 2021.

The session, moderated by Ms. Noemi Frascella (member of the Board of Directors of MedCruise representing the Port of Taranto), highlighted the importance of the dialogue with the local community and its relevance for the social license to operate, as well as for successful experiences for the visitors. The session counted with the online participation of Ms. Natalie Allaby, Director of Cruise Excellence at Port Saint John (Canada), presenting two projects: Area 506 waterfront container village and the port’s pod-learning center and podcast. Additionally, Francesco Rossiello (Holland America Line), Ms. Maudrid Urdaneta (Azamara) Michele Bosco (Princess Cruises) shared the perspective of the cruise lines when preparing their excursions and experiences, and the engagement with the local communities.