This month Director of Cruise Baltic, Claus Bødker, was among a targeted group of participants representing cruise lines, CLIA and major ports and destinations, who attended the first Regional Dialogue for the Baltic, organised by the EU Commission.
Held at the Scandic Copenhagen, this one-day Baltic workshop on cruise tourism followed the launch at a conference in Brussels in March 2015 of the first Pan-European cruise dialogue, held in the framework of action 3 of the European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism.
October 2015 saw the first regional Mediterranean dialogue taking place in Italy. The Baltic will now continue this approach to foster solutions for cruise tourism at regional level and will bring stakeholders closer together in a common effort for a more sustainable and competitive sector in the Baltic.
Christos Economou from the EU Commission began proceedings with an opening statement; and of particular relevance, Claus Bødker, Cruise Baltic, in his address to the audience, made mention that the Baltic Sea generates 1.4 billion Euros in direct revenues and that the cruise industry generates no less than 12,000 jobs in the region.
The Workshop Agenda featured three roundtable discussions on:
- promotion of cruise tourism in the Baltic, how to guarantee an integrated cruise tourism offer in destinations, tools and tricks for destination promotion
- sustainable destination management, integration of ports with port cities, cruise tourism impact on local communities
- promotion of the environmental sustainability of cruise tourism in the Baltic by best practice sharing
A general session followed to assess the results of the roundtable discussions, looking to evaluate the respective commitments undertaken and identifying better ways to achieve them. Conclusions reached included: confirming the need to promote integrated solutions based on a comprehensive dialogue and collaboration between all major participants – the cruise operators ports, destinations and local stakeholders; and at all times underlining the fundamental business value aspect of a clean coastal and maritime environment.
Cruise Baltic is a network of cruise destinations in the Baltic Sea offering easy access to 10 countries on a string with an ‘ocean of adventures’. The network – founded in 2004 with 12 destinations – has now grown in 2016 to 29 destinations.