Sustainability is a joint industry effort

Friday, May 31, 2019 - 10:32 by ce-press

Sustainability has become a hot topic and needs to be taken seriously by everyone everywhere. It covers a wide range of subjects from shore excursions to shorepower. Community and media pressure on the cruise industry is not going to go away and so it needs addressing sooner rather than later.

Claus Bodker, director Cruise Baltic, commented at a press conference just prior to Seatrade Global in Miami this April: “The dialogue with the government has changed a lot. It is a big challenge for us. Four years ago sustainability was not on the table at all. We try to have as many facts as possible. It is a very sensitive issue. If cruiselines could come out with good stories, it could help us.”

In terms of managing passenger flow and shore excursions, Inge Tangeras, managing director Cruise Norway, commented: “The local tourist offices need to have some strategies and take it seriously in regard to how they want to see tourism develop in the planning and organising.”

Suggestions are certainly being made and acted upon whenever possible. Bodker commented: “We are trying to expand the season. We are trying to organise as many shore excursions outside the city centre as possible. We are trying to make new neighbourhoods attractive to visitors. If we can separate the passengers out during the day, I think the experience for the passengers will be much better and the footprint in the city will be less.”

The call for cruiseline input is increasingly being made by ports and destinations. Tangeras commented: “Especially in the summer time, the media is quite rough. The cruiselines should really pour energy into communicating what they are doing to become greener. They should try to describe a little more about what is happening.”

And Karin Mantymaki, director sales & operations Visit Stockholm, said: “We need cruiselines to come but we want them to spread around a bit more.”

In terms of shorepower, the debate continues as does the need to look at the whole picture. Bodker said: “We try to focus everything on facts, for example shorepower in Denmark is electricity, 40% of which comes from fossil fuel [whereas in Sweden and Norway it is all green]. Facts like these are part of our new role. In Copenhagen it is political to have shorepower.”

Thomas Granfeldt, svp business relations Global Ocean Technology Group, who was instrumental in the shorepower installation in Kristiansand, commented: “I think it should be financially interesting [for the ports to do it]. I do believe more cruiselines want to connect if there is a possibility. They are looking for allies.”

Mantymaki commented: “We have to work together as ports in the Baltic on shorepower. For Stockholm it is green. Of course we have to have the right amount. If we can do it, it will be green power all the way.”

There is a great will on behalf of destinations to work more closely within the industry. Tangeras voiced what many are saying: “We need to have closer and better targets with the cruiselines so we can work on issues together. There is a huge potential [for more calls] but the perception is that it is overcrowded. We need more planning and management together with the cruiselines.”

Grandfeldt added that staggering tour times would be a tremendous help. “There can be a lot of capacity if they plan it with the communities.”
Sustainability is a joint industry effort
Karin Mantymaki, Claus Bodker and Inge Tangeras (LtoR) (c) Cruise Baltic

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