Cruise vessel operating costs in South America are becoming unbearable according to company representatives speaking at the South America Seatrade Conference.
Tourism Coordinator for the Falkland Islands Sulivan Shipping Ltd, Samantha Marsh, who attended the two day conference in Sao Paulo, said, “It was a great opportunity to hear opinions from other ports and regions as well as the cruise lines. The challenges of operating in the Southern Cone were discussed at length, with infrastructure and excessive costs being recognised as the biggest obstacles to the regions growth.
“According to many of the cruise lines, operating costs in South America are becoming unbearable. Chile, due to a presidential decision has already begun reducing costs, and is working hard to show their commitment to the cruise ship industry.”
She noted there were several companies that no longer operate in South America due to the costs of operating in the region, such as NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) which visited the Falklands on average eight times a season. On a positive note she said the Southern Cone was deemed very high in terms of customer satisfaction.
Ms Marsh added, “South America is seen as an area of great potential and may be one of the fastest new growth regions due to its diverse and attractive ports of call. There are many challenges ahead and the Southern Cone will need to work together to address the issues in order to become globally competitive.”
She concluded, “The conference was deemed a success by all who attended; a wide variety of subjects were discussed, including infrastructure, terminal facilities, port costs and developing the industry further”. (PN).-