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International Cruise Summit 2012

Commitment to product quality and customer service in the cruise industry

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The International Cruise Summit 2012, held in Madrid last week, brought together some of the main players in the sector, strengthening the role of Spain in the industry.
The International Cruise Summit 2012, which took place in Madrid and was organised by Cruises News Media Group, addressed during its working sessions, the multiple opportunities and some of the key challenges facing the tourist industry right now. The different panels assembled some of the most representative figures of the industry today, allowing comprehensive discussion and analysis of the current critical questions covered by the program.

Among the main conclusions, it is worth noting the level agreement that existed among the participants to reinforce the commitment to product quality rather than opting for pricing strategies. Thus, industry players need to focus on enhancing the value of their products, meeting the needs of customers and concentrating on education and knowledge of the cruise.

In this context, the experts noted too, the need for destinations to be creative, while advocated that government agencies acquire relevant knowledge about the product in order to support the initiatives of the destinations.

Some cruise destinations, as noted during the course of the conference, must be driven from multiple viewpoints. Hence, the most successful regions are those where destinations and ports work together hand in hand. Spain’s role in creating a platform that brings both parties together and allows them to move forward, evolving strategies and agreeing common objectives, was highlighted.

Despite this and the current economic difficulties, the external perception of Spain and the cruise industry is very positive. Not surprisingly, nearly 1.4 million cruise passengers embarked from Spanish ports in 2011 and more than 5 million of passengers visited Spain in total. However, participants noted that Spain can raise its awareness in other countries to further improve these figures.

The International Cruise Summit also allowed time to study the sale of luxury products in the sector, highlighting the loyalty of these customers even in the current economic crisis. To boost the sector, it is necessary to take care of every single detail of customer service, improving the training of travel agents in order to attract more potential passengers.

In short, this Second International Cruise Summit 2012 established Spain as the international center of reference in the cruise tourism industry, strengthening its potential as a cruise destination and allowing observation of its evolution as cruise source market.
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