CLIA to host Virtual Cruise Forum, ACA announces new conference dates

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Cruise industry leaders from across the globe will put a focus on the sector’s revival in Australasia and Asia this month at a virtual event.

In lieu of the postponed Cruise360 Australasia Conference in Sydney, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) will host a Virtual Cruise Forum on Friday 27 August.

The forum will provide an essential update for the region’s cruise community, offering important insights as the industry navigates a path to recovery.

Speakers will include Kelly Craighead (CLIA), Gianni Onorato (MSC Cruises), Ellen Bettridge (Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection), Jason Montague (Regent Seven Seas Cruises), Colleen McDaniel (Cruise Critic), Annie Chang (Singapore Tourism Board), Gavin Smith (CLIA and Royal Caribbean), Sture Myrmell (CLIA and Carnival Australia), Sarina Bratton (Ponant) and Michael Londregan (Virtuoso).

Topics will include an update on cruising’s road to recovery, how the cruise sector is working to rebuild confidence, how travel agents can achieve new relevance as cruise specialists, and how close collaborations have resulted in the successful resumption of operations overseas.

CLIA’s managing director of Australasia, Joel Katz, said the Virtual Cruise Forum was open to all regional members at no charge and would feature live panel discussions and interviews.

“At a critical time for our industry, this online forum will give travel agents valuable insight that will help ensure they benefit from cruising’s recovery,” he said.

“It has never been more important for our cruise community to unite around our common goals, and with the help of global industry leaders, this forum will help define our path forward.”

The Virtual Cruise Forum will run from 10am to 4pm (AEST) on Friday 27 August. More info on the event can be found here.

Meanwhile, the Australian Cruise Association (ACA) has decided to push back its annual conference due to the current lockdown situation in NSW, with the event now taking place from Wednesday 10 November to Friday 12 November 2021.

The conference will still be held at the Ville Resort-Casino in Townsville.

ACA chief executive Jill Abel said: “We are committed to holding our conference so that we can keep the conversations and energy going around planning for the cruise restart.

“We felt these new dates gave us more certainty around being able to hold the event this year, and also provide enough time for our speakers and attendees to change their travel plans.”

The line-up of speakers at the ACA’s conference includes Gavin Smith (Royal Caribbean), Sture Myrmell (Carnival Australia), Stuart Allison (Princess Cruises), Adele Labine-Romain (Deloitte Access Economics) and Dr Ian Norton (Respond Global).

Delegates who have registered and booked their accommodation will be automatically moved to the new dates. More info on the conference can be found here.

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