MÈRIDA, Mexico:--- Today marks the opening of the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, the largest cruise conference and trade show in the Caribbean and one of the best ways to target the cruise industry and maximize its benefits. Taking place until October 27, the event has gathered nearly 1,000 attendees, including about 100 senior cruise executives, for a series of meetings, workshops and networking functions that foster understanding, relationships, and business.
"This is a valuable opportunity for regional destinations and operators to learn how they are being affected by and can take advantage of the industry's latest developments," said Adam Goldstein, president & COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and chairman of the FCCA. "The information exchanged and relationships developed over the next few days will help pave the way for the cruise lines' and stakeholders' mutual success."
The event launched this morning with an opening ceremony featuring a keynote speech from Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, along with remarks from other cruise industry brass, including Goldstein, and Mexican government representatives, such as Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid and Gov. Rolando Zapata Bello, governor of the state of Yucátan.
They commemorated and commenced the event with an agenda chock-full of opportunities to learn from and develop business and relationships with successful stakeholders and cruise executives who decide where ships call, what sells onboard and how to invest in destination products and infrastructure.
Opportunities include special trade show viewings and events with the cruise executives from various sectors-including shore operations, port operations and development, itinerary planning, and purchasing and supply chain-along with one-on-one meetings between Conference delegates and pre-selected executives of their choice to provide personalized input and product promotion.
The cruise executives are also leading workshops focused on the all-encompassing destination experience and maximizing passenger satisfaction; supplying products to the cruise industry; best practices for disaster preparation and proactive reaction; and insight into the latest and upcoming trends, and how it applies to attendees, through panelists including Ashford and Goldstein, as well as Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc, Arnold Donald, president & CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, and Richard Sasso, chairman of MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
Plus, the event features networking functions to cultivate relationships between attendees and executives, while also displaying some of the preparations by Mérida and the state of Yucátan, which partnered with local businesses to coordinate the logistics and display their rich culture, diverse destination products and solid infrastructure to the influential audience-a formula for success for past host destinations of the event, with results ranging from triple-digit growth in passenger and vessel arrivals to the development of new piers, tours and entire destination developments.
"The FCCA appreciates Mérida's, the state of Yucatán's and all of Mexico's efforts to make the 24th annual FCCA Conference & Trade Shows one of the best events yet," said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. "It pulled out all the stops to woo the cruise executives and attendees, allowing them to experience the offerings and infrastructure that will welcome nearly 400,000 cruise passengers from FCCA Member Lines this year in Progreso - and hopefully more next year!"
FCCA Press Release