FLORIDA-CARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION 2006 CRUISE CONFERENCE
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision, the ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results”
Pembroke Pines, FL (Novemberer 9, 2006) – The 2006 FCCA Caribbean Cruise Conference and Trade Show attracted more than 1,200 attendees, including more than 100 cruise executives, industry partners, and government representatives to the host destination, Cayman Islands. Those in attendance included ministers from the Cayman Islands Government (Hon. Charles E. Clifford, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Investment and Commerce; Hon. Kurt Tibbetts, Leader of Government Business and Minister of District Administration, Planning, Agriculture & Housing; Hon. Anthony Eden, Minister of Health and Human Services; Hon. Arden McLean, Minister of Communications, Works and Infrastructure; Hon. Alden McLaughlin, Minister of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports & Culture and other governors, regional government officers, port authorities, tour operators, tourism agencies and suppliers from all through the Caribbean, Latin American and the United States, with a special attendance Prime Minister of Grenada, Hon. Keith Mitchell.
On Wednesday, November 1 the presidential heart of the FCCA Michele M. Paige, together with Cayman’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Charles Clifford commenced the official Grand Opening Ceremony. Micky Arison, Chairman & CEO, Carnival Corporation and also FCCA’s proud Chairman; delivered the closing remarks wherein he stated “Carnival and the cruise industry in general are very optimistic about the Caribbean. The industry is working on a number of strategies to create more demand: aggressive pricing, have new destinations and more shore excursion options - All to keep the Caribbean, Mexican and Latin American cruise experience exciting!”
This year’s FCCA Essay Contest Winners: in the Junior Division was Theron Honore from Dominica and from the Senior Division, Abby Timmons from Cozumel, Mexico which were presented with a $2,500 scholarship with their respective destination school receiving the like amount.
Over 40 companies exhibited at this year’s conference. FCCA’s “Member Lines CEO Fireside Chat Luncheon” was a great starter which permitted cruise industry partners to ask top CEOs/Presidents questions regarding their corporation and the industry.
During the Conference delegates where able to meet marketing, shore excursion/tour operations, and purchasing cruise executives from FCCA’s 12 Member Lines during workshops that included.
• Purchasing Q & A - This workshop offered a wealth of information for delegates, as it resolved around audience participation. Cruise Line executives were on hand to give their expert advise and answered any purchasing/sourcing related questions generated from the attendees.
• Marketing - This session discussed the branding, marketing/advertising, website distribution and others.
• Operations – With the Caribbean region’s recent experience with hurricanes, this topic is on the forefront of the business and government sectors mind. While there is no “one fits all” emergency response plan, this workshop expounded on communication and recovery measures. The panel’s purpose was to stress on communication with the destinations post hurricane, safety of life, recovery and developing some “Best Practices” in Emergency Planning process. Examples of the benefits of proper preparedness post hurricane were shared, and showed how working together in an Emergency Recovery can benefit all stakeholders in the business of Caribbean Tourism.
• Shore Excursions/Tour Operations
o Q & A (Question & Answer) - Cruise Line representatives initiated a discussion to the audience posing questions and concerns on various topics such as: Training their Tour Guides, Proper Infrastructure of Organized and Independent Tours, Communication, ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) Challenges, Pre-Sales/Internet Bookings, Re-investing your Product and Emergency/Weather Contingency Plans.
o From Ship to Shore Sustainable Stewardship in Cruise Destinations - Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association together with Conservation International discussed how they are engaging stakeholders and shore excursion providers to support good conservation practices.
o Destination Experience – This topic answered the question, how does the overall arrival experience in a destination affect the individual guest not participating on an organized tour? Panelists shared their success stories and outlined steps taken to assure a positive, desirable port experience for all guests.
"This year's conference promised to be the best ever and it was. It was a great opportunity to exchange ideas with not only our business partners, but also government representatives from throughout the Caribbean. I always come away from the conference having met new people, and seeing new products." stated Roger Blum, VP, Cruise Programming, Carnival Cruise Lines.
The Cayman Islands outdid themselves with the socials functions - some of the highlights were: first night in the Ritz Carlton, then Grand Cayman’s Night Extravaganza in Boatswains Beach, the Platinum Lunch/Meeting in Ristorante Pappagallo and the third night – the Closing Party in George Town Cruise Terminal where Hon. Charles Clifford passed the baton to Lic. Gustavo Ortega, Presidente Municipal (Mayor) of Cozumel, Quintana Roo - Mexico. Lic. Ortega invited one and all to next year’s 14th Annual FCCA Caribbean Cruise Conference & Trade Show in Cozumel, Mexico – October 23-26, 2007.
“This 13th FCCA conference has laid to rest any notion that 13 is an unlucky number. Not only the best conference to date but the best attended. Grand Cayman certainly lived up to its well deserved reputation for efficiency and hospitality. As one of the many cruise executives in attendance, I found the opportunities to meet with our partners in the Caribbean most productive. It was amazing how much we were able to accomplish in such a short time. And still have time and some energy to socialize at the evening functions” stated Stephen Nielsen, Vice President, Caribbean & Atlantic Shore Operations, Princess Cruises/Cunard Line.
If you are interested in getting to know more about our industry and take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity, please call us at (954) 441-8881.
The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 19 Member Lines operating over 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and to develop bilateral relationships with destinations’ private and public sectors. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA works with governments, ports and private sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors. For more information, visit F-CCA.com, the FCCA on Facebook, and @FCCAupdates on Twitter.