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Published on : Friday, September 15, 2017
Seatrade Europe, the leading trade event for the European cruise and river cruise industry closed on September 8th with a 15% increase in attendees to over 5000 on 2015 reflecting that the growth of the European cruise market is showing no signs of slowing down.
“The holiday cruise market is booming like never before,” said Bernd Aufderheide, CEO and President, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. “Passenger numbers are rising steadily and the demand situation for European shipyards and their suppliers is excellent. Full orderbooks, billions of euros in investments and 75 new building projects to be delivered by 2025 alone.”
In testament to these excellent market conditions, a wide range of exhibitors showcased their products, services and innovations to a wide range of industry professionals, ensuring all the relevant sectors of the cruise industry were represented. “More than 260 exhibitors from 40 different nations have presented their products and services this year, including shipyards, cruise ports, food and beverage manufacturers, shipbrokers and many more,” said Aufderheide.
There was also great deal of interest for the Newcomers’ Pavilion, showcasing 19 companies that are moving for the first time into the cruise and river cruise sectors who used the event as a platform to make new contacts with the cruise lines.
A new feature for 2017, exhibiting ports and destinations were also given the opportunity to give a 90 second lighting pitch in front of a high calibre judging panel on the final day of the event, proving to be a popular addition to the programme of events.
In addition to the international exhibition floor, a full and engaging conference programme covered the most topical issues and trends currently facing the European cruise industry and featured a number of high-profile personalities and heavyweights. Speaking during the opening ‘Future of Cruise Industry in Europe’ session, the optimism around cruising in Germany and the wider European market was proved a strong talking point. Although China has replaced Germany as the world’s second-largest source market for ocean cruise passengers last year, the host country of Seatrade Europe retains a dynamically developing market. Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Chairman of CLIA Germany, said he expected further growth. “I do not see why the positive development should not continue”, predicting the three million passenger benchmark could be reached already by 2020 (compared to 2m passengers in 2016).
“As both a cruise destination and passenger source market, Europe continues to show its strength. Throughout 2016, the region held an 11% share of all deployed capacity and saw over 6.6 million Europeans take a cruise themselves,” said Andrew Williams, Group Brand Director, Aviation & Maritime Group, UBM EMEA.
Sustainability and environmental responsibility was kept at the forefront throughout the event as delegates were invited to witness the first virtual keel laying ceremony by Carnival Corporation for AIDAnova, the world’s first fully LNG cruise ship. To much applause, Arnold Donald, President and CEO, Carnival Corporation and key brand leaders, celebrated this landmark occasion.
River cruising also came under the spotlight throughout the conference programme, with two dedicated sessions providing a focus on both identifying innovation and analysing the current security situation.
Another highlight of the event was the presentation of the Seatrade Cruise Awards. Karl J. Pojer, CEO, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, was honoured as “Seatrade European Personality of the Year”. Other prize winners included:
Seatrade Europe has also continued its close cooperation with the Hamburg Cruise Days, that underscores Hamburg’s international significance in the world of cruising.