International cruise industry professionals will gather on November 17 and 18 in Madrid for another edition of the International Cruise Summit. After the success of the 2020 edition in hybrid format (face-to-face and virtual), the International Cruise Summit 2021 is now strongly focusing on the face-to-face format, following all the necessary health and safety protocols, at the Hotel Meliá Castilla in Madrid. It will be the first face-to-face international cruise event since the beginning of the pandemic in Europe.
The pandemic brought havoc to the cruise industry, which was forced to stop its activity in March 2020. Since the summer of 2020, but with more intensity in 2021, the companies have resumed their activity with great effort, with health and safety protocols that surpass the standards of other industries. All passengers boarding cruises must be pre-tested and, in many companies, only people with full vaccinations are allowed to board.
However, companies are experiencing an exceptional level of bookings for 2022, especially in the second half of the year. After two summers of travel restrictions and difficulties living with the virus, consumers are keen not only to travel, but also to travel and indulge in luxuries with the money they have saved.
During the downtime caused by the pandemic, the shipyards have finished and delivered the ships scheduled for 2020 and 2021, and have continued to build new units that will be delivered in 2022 and beyond.
Environmentally sustainable ships, using the latest technologies to minimize their impact, or using alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas. On the other hand, about a dozen old and less efficient ships were decommissioned, mainly in Turkey.
Top management, international executives, port authorities, travel agents and companies, and industry experts will be present at one of the most important cruise congresses in the world. The event will feature the participation of leaders such as Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Crociere; Roberto Martinoli, president and CEO of Silversea Cruises; Ferdindan Strohmeier, CEO of Mystic Cruises; Ben Pouldin, vice president for EMEA at Royal Caribbean International; Jo Rzymowska, vice president and general manager for EMEA at Celebrity Cruises; and Bob Dixon, director for EMEA & Latin America at Cunard Line, among others.
There will be space for several round table discussions and conferences that will address the recovery of the cruise industry and tourist destinations, the challenges of re-recruiting the workers the industry needs, and how to recover pre-pandemic sales and pricing levels.