All change in Amsterdam
In connection with his work and outstanding contribution to Amsterdam, Kouwenberg was presented with the Frans Banninck Cocq Medal by the City of Amsterdam at the annual Captains Cocktail, a networking event for enterprising and cultural Amsterdam that was developed under his leadership.
Kouwenberg told CE: “There are a few things I am very proud of: the first multipurpose terminal which became very successful. We had many visits from ports and terminals all over the world to look at how we did it. We have been able to advise others on logistics, for example Kai Tak in Hong Kong. Cruise was very seasonal but now it is year-round.”
Discussing how the industry has changed over the years, he commented: “We have to be more responsible now. We have to be in touch more with the community. Cruiselines could help us to invite politicians on board to see what they are doing but that there is far more to do. We have to tell the whole story. That will be one of the challenges for my successor, Dick.”
De Graaff is no stranger to the cruise sector having served as the PTA’s commercial director since December 2004 where he has been responsible for cruise call growth and for operating the passenger terminal as a venue for trade fairs and events.
Looking ahead de Graaff agrees with the need for more communication between the cruiselines and the community. He is also keen to find a place for a new terminal to enable cruise in the city to grow and wants to see even more cooperation with other cruise ports in The Netherlands.
“There are challenging times ahead of us, with an increasing interest from the municipality with regards to sustainability and overtourism. We need to be proactive towards civil servants and politicians in order to give them facts and figures on cruise tourism. We need to cooperate with our colleague ports and cruiselines,” he added.
This year there were 181 calls to the PTA bringing over 425,000 passengers. For 2019, 182 calls and about 450,000 respectively are expected.