What’s wrong with Europe’s cruise industry?

Cruise industry leader issues strong warning for industry
The chair of Clia Europe has issued a stark warning to the industry. Challenges loom on the horizon that threaten to undermine future growth “unless action is urgently taken”, he said.
Speaking in Hamburg at the opening session of Seatrade Europe, Pierfrancesco Vago cautioned that the future “could be much brighter” than it is.
There is still optimism in the sector, he said, which last year “continued to grow and increase its relevance in Europe”, generating 350,000 jobs, 10,000 more than the previous year. And 29 out 31 oceangoing cruise ships scheduled to be delivered by 2018 are being built in European shipyards.
However, he warned: “The cruise industry’s growth in Europe has slowed down compared to previous years. While the long-term trend remains positive, the future could be much brighter.
“A number of critical constraints to the industry’s further growth need urgent addressing if we want to ensure that the cruise industry will continue to be a solid contributor to Europe’s economy.”
Vago highlighted key areas that are acting as constraint to the cruise industry’s further growth, namely insufficient development of port infrastructure, the uneven application of EU environmental legislation in Europe’s ports, and constraints impeding the arrival of more third-country tourists in Europe.
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