Speakers revealed for the 2024 Australian Cruise Association Conference

Speakers revealed for the 2024 Australian Cruise Association Conference
Edited by Travel Weekly


    An impressive line-up of speakers has been announced for the 26th Australian Cruise Association Conference (ACA) and AGM to be held from 4-6 September in Adelaide.

    With new opportunities and challenges on the horizon for the cruise industry, the conference, to be held at SkyCity Adelaide, will be themed ‘Steering Ideas to Success’ and showcase international and Australian guest speakers.

    “As we look towards the next phase of the exciting and ever-changing cruise market in our region, we need to be open to ideas that continue to advance cruise as a sustainable and vital pillar of Australia’s visitor economy,” Australian Cruise Association CEO Jill Abel said.

    “This year’s conference sessions will be all about inviting robust discussion and sharing of ideas with our membership and cruise community, that will ultimately steer us toward continuing success.”

    Highly influential cruise line executives join the 2024 program including Jessica Ashe, director of shore excursions & future cruises, Holland America Group and Chad Berkshire, EVP and chief commercial officer, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

    These international delegates will be joined by Gavin Smith (Royal Caribbean International), Ben Angell (Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings), Tim Jones (Celebrity Cruises) and Peter Little (Carnival Cruise Lines) and Chair, CLIA Australasia.

    Individual and panel sessions will centre on current topics such as ongoing governance and regulatory issues as well as supply chain issues and opportunities.

    A focus will also be placed on destination development including a panel session as well as what promises to be a highly informative presentation by Mark Koolmatrie – Founder of Kool Tours. A

    Leigh Howard from Tourism Fiji will provide a regional outlook building on ACA’s commitment to the importance of working closely with neighbouring destinations.

    The final day of the Conference will kick off with a motivational breakfast at the Playford Hotel followed by the AGM and member roundtable session.

    “We are excited to be holding our Conference in South Australia this year to reflect the incredible growth of the cruise industry in that region and the commitment of the state government and Flinders Port Holdings in fostering new opportunities,” Abel continued.

    According to the South Australian Tourist Commission, cruise has been the fastest growing sector in the state.

    In 2022-23, 103 cruise and expedition ships visited South Australia welcoming 227,900 passengers and crew. This has seen the economic impact of cruise grow 48 per cent since 2018-19 to $215M.

    A pre-cruise program will be held on Wednesday 4 September with numerous opportunities on offer for attendees to take a deep dive into the city and surrounding regions including; a tour of the Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal and local highlights, a gourmet food and wine e-bike tour through the historic town of Hahndorf, an Adelaide Oval Stadium Tour and Roof Climb and a fun and lively HandleBar Food and City Tour.

    It is anticipated that around 150 people will attend the Conference which is being supported by the South Australian Tourist Commission and Flinders Port Holdings.

    Members and stakeholders are advised to register before 31 July to take advantage of the early bird rates HERE.

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