Falklands’ current cruise season much quieter and rather ‘turbulent’
This year’s Falkland Islands season has been much quieter than usual with over 19.000 passengers to the first week of March mainly because of cancellations due to weather and technical issues with a handful related to the political situation created by Argentine harassment early on the season, according to industry sources in the Islands.
“We were predicted to have approximately 50,000 cruise ship visitors this season, but with the cancellations so far this is looking a lot less. Last season we had only eight cancellations, so with the cancellations almost doubling this has had a huge effect on the numbers this season”, admitted Sulivan Shipping Tourism Co-ordinator Sammy Marsh.
Nevertheless as has become tradition the Falklands Tourism Board along with Sulivan Shipping represented the Islands at this week’s Miami Cruise Shipping, Sea Trade convention and participated in VIP events with the industries leaders in the tourism sector.
“Sulivan Shipping’s main purpose in attending Miami Seatrade was to meet with our current clients and also further promote the Falkland Islands as a cruise destination” said Sammy.
Falklands Tourist Board Managing Director Tony Mason underlined the importance of the event and the excellent opportunity to make contacts and relationships, but was also challenging “especially on the back of a turbulent season”.
“Cruise Shipping Miami offers us the opportunity to be part of the industry’s most authoritative professional showcase and make valuable contacts and develop relationships within the industry’s most influential community”, said Mr. Mason.
“This event attracts a broad range of industry players and delivers the audience we are looking for: cruise and expedition companies, cruise industry buyers and decision makers” added Mr. Mason who underlined that the next few years “are crucial to our development and plans and participation in events like this are essential to our growth and recognition as a tourism destination.”
Speaking on the event Christine Duffy president of the Cruise Lines International Association said the industry had to overcome difficult obstacles through the last year which saw the capsizing of a ship in Italy, the crippled Carnival Triumph and ships plagued by norovirus.
But “I think this industry comes together and shares best practices and shares lessons learnt”, even when cruise lines compete but when it comes to safety and crisis management the industry works as one.